Last year, the eastern two-thirds of North America saw warmer temperatures and below average snowfall, breaking the hearts of skier and other snow lovers. This year, the Farmers’ Almanac’s famous long-range weather forecast promises that the “Days of Shivery” will return in the coming months, but what does that mean for skiers? After last year’s mild conditions, is there any hope of a good season out on the slopes?
This year’s forecast indicates that nearly all of North America will see very cold temperatures this winter with normal, or heavier than normal, snowfall, for most regions. Those living in, or visiting, the Northeastern U.S. or the eastern half of Canada are in for a bitterly cold and snowy winter, which should keep the peaks covered in powder. The northern plains, Rockies, and prairie provinces are expected to see very cold temperatures and an average amount of snowfall. Southeastern and South Central states will be very cold and wet this year, while the Southwest will be colder than normal with average precipitation. Only the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia are expected to see less precipitation than normal, though they will still see cooler than normal temperatures.
This year’s forecast means, nearly every region of the U.S. and Canada will see a spectacular skiing season.
An average amount of snowfall is predicted for Colorado this year, which means this skier’s Mecca should see a phenomenal season. With 54 peaks above 14,000 feet, the average year sees about 300 inches of snow, which should keep skiers happy this season.
Snow should begin to fall in Rockies in mid-November, with heavy snow toward the end of the month creating a good early base, and continue falling through Christmas, ensuring that holiday vacationers won’t go home disappointed. The slopes should stay white for the rest of the season with regular storms predicted through March.
In the Northeast, where last winter was lackluster, things should turn around. Anyone who enjoys the skiing Northeast knows there is no better skiing east of the Mississippi than in New England’s many unspoiled peaks, and with heavy snow and colder than average temperatures predicted for much of the season, Vermont, and nearby resorts in New Hampshire and Maine, will be the place to be this winter. New York’s Adirondack and Catskill ranges is also well situated for a good season, as are Pennsylvania’s Pocono and Laurel Mountain ranges.
Across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, snow will begin falling in late November, and series of light showers and heavy storms in December, including some possible winter precipitation on or near Christmas, should keep the slopes covered for the holidays. Several heavy snowstorms are expected to pound the region in January, February, and March, keeping the slopes covered through early spring.
Those living in eastern Canada can also look forward to a great season of skiing this year, with major resort areas in Quebec and Ontario beginning to see snow in November. As in the Northern U.S., snow is expected to fall regularly throughout December, January, and February, promising an uninterrupted winter sports season for snow lovers. The Canadian Rockies should see a decent season this year, with chilly temperatures and average precipitation predicted. Unfortunately for snow-lovers on the west coast, British Columbia is expected to see drier than normal conditions this year.