The Skiing Weatherman Conditions Report: December 19-22
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Meaningful natural snow has fallen on several occasions, with last weekend’s storm the biggest thus far this season. While the foot or more of snow that fell up north was certainly welcomed, it wasn’t the ideal consistency for this time of year. Don’t get me wrong… the snow was dry, and great for skiing or riding, but when groomed out, it didn’t add a whole lot to base depths.
At this time of year, a sloppy storm with temperatures right around 32 is actually more desirable, because the high moisture-content snow turns into a more durable base once traffic and grooming compress it. The change from snow to sleet and rain that took place in the lower elevations in southern New England wasn’t the worst thing that could happen…the “stuff” that was left behind was excellent for base building. We’re not fussy, though…we’ll take fresh snow any time we can get it, regardless of whether it is the consistency of baby powder or pudding!
I’d love to be able to tell you that the cold and occasionally snowy pattern that the resorts have enjoyed this month will continue right into January. In general, I believe that will be the case, but we are going to have to deal with a bit of a weather “hiccup” this weekend. That is, it is going to turn milder than it has been of late and there is going to be a mixture of precipitation types in the mountains of northern New England all the way up to the Canadian border.
The source of the precipitation will be small scale waves of low pressure riding up along a stalled out cold front that will set up south of the resorts later this week. While the mountains will be north of the front and technically in the cold air, the cold will not be deep enough to support all snow…with relatively shallow cold air hugging the lower levels and above freezing air aloft, we are likely looking at some icing more than anything else.
In southern New England, temperatures will rise above freezing, leading to some plain rain, but the machine made bases will handle the wet weather with ease. Low sun angles and short hours of daylight will also serve to preserve the snow as a quick shot of mild weather moves up the coast and into New England.
The good news is that even as temperatures go above normal for a couple of days and surface conditions turn more moist, a change back to a cold pattern will be lurking. In fact, by sometime Monday, the front will press far enough to the south to allow deeper cold air to flow into the mountains. At that point, the resorts will be back in business in terms of making snow and the mountain crews will get busy with those sophisticated groomers to work their magic and rehabilitate the surfaces.
Early next week, the snow will be firmer than it has been lately, but by the time Christmas Day rolls around, surfaces will be packed powder once again. Looking further down the road, it looks to me as though colder than normal weather will dominate in the north country through the end of the month, which will allow the snowmakers to continue to boost those trail counts, and the pattern also looks favorable for more in the way of natural snow.
Saturday will mark the winter solstice… the shortest day of the year in terms of available sunlight. Wachusett Mountain will embrace the occasion with a “Shortest Day of the Year Celebration”. If you ski or ride in shorts that day, you can enter a drawing for a couple of free lift tickets. There’s a special on short ribs in the Black Diamond restaurant. Try a short demo special…a half day demo rental at half price. And at 1 pm, there will be a short subject ski adventure movie shown in the main lodge. Get the picture?
As you look ahead to the holiday week, the big news out of Yawgoo Valley is that they plan to have their tubing center fully operational… make your plans for a couple of hours of fun sliding. Remember, you don’t have to walk up the hill!
Be sure to check out The Skiing Weatherman video report on Thursdays for the details on trails and lifts for resorts all across New England.
Every Thursday, Skiing Weatherman will post a video report breaking down the conditions for the upcoming weekend. Filmed out on the snow, these videos will be very similar to what he did on television for 25 years, with a great assist from his cameraman, David Huot, a Maine native who has worked with Herb for eighteen years.
Related Slideshow: 30 Ways To Give In Central Mass This Holiday Season
The Salvation Army’s traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene, with millions of dollars donated each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless. Donations provide and financial assistance provides Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need including families of prisoners. Simply make a donation wherever you see their trademark red kettle or do so online by clicking here.
Goodwill Mass accepts donations of men's, women's or children's clothing and other textiles. Some of the clothing donations are provided to our clients who may need an outfit for an interview or a one week supply of clothing for a new job. Most is sold to neighboring Goodwills, or as salvage with all revenues raised going back into programs and services for Rhode islanders.
You may drop off your old clothing at one of the many clothing donation bins throughout the state or at the drop-box located in 25 Park Avenue, Worcester.
Click here for more information.
Formed in 2002, Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization developed to support military families. On December 14, Operation Homefront will host a “Holiday Toys for Military Kids” event in Wellesly Hills, Taunton, and Springfield from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Toys are limited and are on a first come, first serve registration process. Once your registration is complete you will receive a confirmation email. Please note that this program is for military dependent children only.
Donate non-perishable food items such as rice, beans, and canned vegetables for Thanksgiving distribution by November 21. Donate new or gently used winter clothing such as boots, hats, scarves, and coats to be distributed to ACE families during the holiday season. Donations accepted November – January.
Contact: Amy Connery (508) 799-3653
Donate new toys, games, and books for children of all ages; grocery store gift cards for holiday food baskets; gifts for teens such as movie passes, music, gaming gift cards, and personal care items; and gift cards to clothing and shoe stores to purchase gifts for children and teens. Adopt a family and provide gifts for Christmas. Call for details.
Contact: Sheryl Spafford (508) 832-5707 ext. 10
Donate holiday gifts for children ages 5 – 18 including gift cards for teens to purchase items such as movies, music, and clothing; grocery store gift cards to purchase holiday meals for families in need; and wrapping paper and supplies such as bows and cards. Adopt a family for the holidays and provide gifts. Call for details.
Contact: Liz Hamilton (508) 754-2686
Donate new toys, books, clothes, outerwear, boots, and gift cards for boys and girls ages 4 – 18; gift certificates for movies, bowling, and other activities; non-religious holiday decorations and gift-wrap; and food for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
Contact: Anna Berin (508) 853-6988
Donate gifts for homeless children of all ages and new household items for more than 80 homeless families including sheet sets, blankets, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, and gift cards to discount and grocery stores. Gifts for teens especially needed.
Contact: Katherine Kerr (508) 791-7265
Donate winter hats and gloves and gift cards to discount stores, grocery stores, and fast food restaurants.
Contact: Brian Bickford (508) 860-1139
Donate new items for newborns and mothers in need: baby blankets, toiletries, newborn undergarments, socks, bibs, infant equipment such as car seats, new maternity clothes, and gift cards for discount and grocery stores. Donate new items for immigrants/refugees such as gloves and mittens, hats, scarves, and home first aid kits. Donate new household items for homeless families including sheet sets, blankets, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and dishes.
Contact: Georgianna Sgariglia
Donate men’s and women’s clothing in all sizes (especially XL and plus sizes) such as sweaters, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, underwear, and t-shirts; toiletries such as hairbrushes, makeup, shampoo, body wash, and lotion; inexpensive male and female jewelry items such as crosses, watches, and rings; games, cards, word search books, and other small gift items.
Contact: Sandy Epstein
Donate non-perishable food for distribution to area emergency feeding programs. Drop off items Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Please call the office before dropping off. Please visit www.foodbank.org for more information.
Donate navy blue blazers, white button down shirts, khaki pants, belts, and dress shoes for boys in sizes from boys’ small to men’s medium; sports equipment such as baseballs, soccer balls, and related items; art supplies and music equipment such as instruments, scores, and songbooks.
Contact: Patrick Maloney
Join us for our annual “Holiday for Heroes” campaign. Assist by reviewing, categorizing, and bundling holiday cards that will be delivered to veterans in Central MA. You would need to dedicate about three hours for this one-time seasonal event in early December. Call to schedule date.
Contact: Ray Duffy (508) 595-3762
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