Stop me if you've heard this before... we're looking at another great weekend of skiing. And it's only mid-November! Thursday night into Friday will bring the third snow storm in a week to much of ski country.
This is the part of the discussion where I'd typically show you the model forecast maps for snowfall accumulation. I'll do that this time but please be aware that I think they're all crazy. Seriously the simple snowfall algorithms are not handling this well. They are either crazy high in the Mid-Atlantic or really underplaying it in the mountains. Let's jump in and have a look.
Using a simple 10:1 snowfall ratio:
No. Just no. That's crazy town in the Mid-Atlantic into southern New England. To be fair to the modelers, there are more complicated snowfall schemes. So using that same model run and a more advanced microphysics scheme...
This lays out much more reasonable numbers in southern regions, though the mountain accumulations are under-done. The real story in much of southern New England (hi Wachusett!), is going to be icing. That very well may be the headline issue across the region. I'm a little concerned about power outages as a result, but not ready to broadcast that too loudly, especially considering that winds will not be an issue. A look at the Worcester precipitation breakdown is showing a whole lot of ice though.
So where should we be skiing this weekend? Smart money is on Wildcat or Sugarloaf. Both already have a base on the ground and off-piste skiing should be in play. Look for around 8" at both mountains out of this storm. Vermont ski areas should see a widespread 6". Snow will start late Thursday night and last until early afternoon Friday.
A closer look at the envelope of snowfall forecasts for Rumford, ME will serve as our proxy for both mountains. The high-resolution guidance envelope is squarely in the 5-6" range, but mountain enhancement will get you to the 8"