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The Skiing Weatherman Conditions Report: Jan. 9-Jan. 12

Thursday, January 09, 2014


Herb Stevens: GoLocalProv's Skiing Weatherman

After a weekend of soft-packed powder conditions, skiers and riders all across the Northeast woke up Monday to southerly winds, mild temperatures, and rain. Not that there is ever a time when that stuff is good for winter sports folks, but it is a Monday and not a Friday, so the impact on sliding plans will be minimized.

Thankfully, the quick warm-up will be just that…quick. Colder air is already on the doorstep, and by tonight, the cold front leading to a dramatic drop in temperatures will have moved offshore. Some light snow will fall in the mountains as the cold air catches up to the back end of the departing slug of moisture, but it won’t be enough to cover the sins of today’s wet, mild weather.

By Tuesday morning, another shot from the Arctic will be in place all across the eastern half of the country. That is going to lead to another challenge for groomers and snowmakers in the mountains, because those soft surface conditions that we enjoyed the past few days are going to firm up considerably.

Once again, the Pisten Bullies will be crawling all over the slopes, grinding the hard top layer into a much more “playable” granular consistency. The arsenal of tower-mounted snow guns will be firing starting tonight, adding a layer of “top dressing” snow to help the transformation back to softer surfaces. As recently as 15 or 20 years ago, a thaw/freeze event like the one we are witnessing this week would have taken many, many days to recover from, but the advances in grooming and snowmaking now make it possible to transform “linoleum” into sugar and powder much more quickly.

Watch out for the Skiing Weatherman's Video Report on Thursday afternoon!

Map courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

I guess if we have one thing to be grateful for, it is that the core of the cold air will not drive directly into the Northeast…the Midwest will be the recipients of the coldest of the cold, thanks to a piece of the polar vortex breaking off and descending into the country through the western Great Lakes. The temperatures at roughly 5,000 feet give forecasters their best indication of what surface temperatures will be like and if we look at what those temperatures will look like this evening, you can see that the Northeast will not be getting the worst of the cold...

You may notice that the winds barbs on this map suggest that the coldest air will be heading into the region, and it will, but it will modify as it spreads east, sparing us a day when the temperature on the slopes will not get above zero during the daylight hours…that will be the case today in spots like Chicago, Indianapolis, and Dayton.

The cold will dominate through much of this week, and the snowmakers in the mountains will be able to churn out tons and tons of new snow—if you are skiing and riding, don’t forget your goggles! At the lower elevation areas of southern New England, it will turn mild enough to limit their efforts to the overnight hours by the end of the week. But make no mistake about it, conditions will be improving steadily once the cold air is back in place by early Tuesday. The irony is that after a spell of extensive snowmaking, a shot of rain actually helps many resorts as it helps to recharge the water source for subsequent snowmaking. By Friday, a weak disturbance will spin across the Northeast and produce a little light snow, with a mix of precipitation types close to the coast. It does not look like a big event, however.

As I suggested in my video report last week, a warm-up is lurking mid-month. That is not the climatologically favored time for the January thaw, so perhaps we shouldn’t call it that. But names aside, it looks like the jet stream will turn more westerly from later this weekend through much of next week. That will change the prime source region for our air masses from northwestern Canada and Siberia to the northeast Pacific Ocean, and that maritime air will flood across the country and lead to a widespread warm-up during the week of the 13th. It does not look like it will last very long, though, and the jet stream should once again turn more northwesterly over New York and New England by the weekend of the 18th/19th or so, and that will restore a colder than normal regime to the region and allow snowmakers to get back to work. It will also enhance the chances for natural snow.

Speaking of natural snow…next week’s warm-up does not look like an overly dramatic one to me at this point, and it is not out of the question that small scale disturbances could traverse the U.S./Canadian border at times next week, which could produce some light to moderate snow in the far northern resorts of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as in Quebec, and that would certainly limit the impact of any attempted thaw.

So, we have been riding a wild ride with respect to temperatures in the mountains much of this season, and that will continue for the next ten days or so. Keep the faith, though, because the mountain crews at the resorts will be working their magic 24/7 to provide you with surfaces you will be happy with...and I think you will be very happy with the conditions you will find by mid and late week, despite temperature drops over a 24-hour period of 50 degrees or more! Ahhh…winter in New England...


Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Sports Stories in 2013

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#13. Worcester Baseball

Baseball has always held a very important place in the http://www.golocalworcester.com/news/can-yet-another-baseball-team-undo-worcesters-curse-of-the-tornadoes/">history of Worcester.

In 1863, the famous poem Casey at the Bat was written in Worcester by Ernest Thayer under the pen name “Phineas.”

In 1880, J. Lee Richmond of the Worcester Worcesters pitched the first perfect game in professional baseball history. 

However, there was a void of professional baseball in the city following the departure of the Worcester Tornadoes in 2012. 

That void ended in 2013, with the announcement by John Creeden, Jr. of Worcester's newest baseball team, the Worcester Bravehearts.   This new team hits the field in 2014, managed by former Tornadoes player Alex Trezza, in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. 

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#12. Patriots Fall Short

The Patriots made a great run toward the Super Bowl in January.  After going 12-4 in the regular season and earning a first round bye, the Pats walked past the defensive powerhouse Houston Texans 41-28 on their way to play the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC Championship.

Baltimore had just come off a tough double overtime victory at Denver a week earlier, so New England fans felt confident that they would be heading to New Orleans for their eighth Super Bowl.

However, at game time Baltimore's defense stepped-up behind their retiring captain, Ray Lewis, stunning the Patriots 28-13.  This would be the first ever home loss in an AFC Championship game for New England. 

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#11. HS State Champions

2013 brought several high school state titles to Central Massachusetts.

In the spring, there was a Central Mass sweep in softball as Milford (Division I), Grafton (Division II), and Assabet (Division III) all took home State Championships. 

In the fall, four Central Mass football teams reached State Super Bowls, and two of those teams came home as champions. The Doherty Highlanders won a battle with Dennis-Yarmouth 28-26 to claim the Division 4 title, and in Division 6, the Littleton Tigers won a 52-35 shootout over Cohasset.

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#10. Auburn's Tyler Beede

Tyler Beede, an Auburn native, had one of the most dominant pitching performances in all of Division I college baseball in 2013 at Vanderbilt University.

The 6'4” right-handed sophomore pitcher was heavily criticized for turning down a $2.5 million offer from the Toronto Blue Jays after being picked 21st overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. But now he is proving that he may have done the right thing in going to Vanderbilt.

Following the 2013 season, Beede was named Second Team All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

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#9. Tim Tebow

Much of New England scratched their heads when the Patriots signed Tim Tebow in June. Despite questions over the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback's viability as a starter in the NFL, the signing of Tebow was big news in Foxboro ahead of training camp.

Tebow's tenure in New England didn't last very long, as the former Florida Gator failed to make the Patriots' final cut.

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#8. One Fine Day

October 13, 2013 was a great day in New England Sports history, in fact, it is possibly one of the best ever.

First, the New England Patriots defeated the New Orleans Saints 30-27, after Tom Brady completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie Kenbrell Thompkins with 5 seconds left in the game.

Then the Red Sox, down by five runs to Detroit in Game 2 of the ALCS, staged an unlikely comeback--featuring a David Ortiz grand slam--winning the game and making the series even at 1-1.

Read GoLocal's list of the Ten Greatest Days in New England Sports history here .

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#7. Red Sox Victory

After the train wreck season of 2012, expectations were tempered for the Red Sox in 2013.  They had dropped payroll, fired their manager, and the team's focus was on rebuilding for the future.

So when the Red Sox won their third World Series in ten years, the celebrations in New England were incredible. This was evidenced by the enormous number of people who turned out for the victory parade through Boston's streets in November.

See GoLocal's parade coverage here.  

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#6. Shamrock Shakeup

When the Celtics brought in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to play along with Paul Pierce under Doc Rivers, the team and fans knew that the window to win was small. 

They won a title in their first year together, and made several more runs in subsequent seasons, but in summer of 2013, it was clear that the window had closed.  

Doc Rivers walked away, replaced by first-year coach Brad Stevens; and Kevin Garnett was traded, along with Paul Pierce, to Brooklyn for draft picks and role players. 

While the short-term prognosis for the Celtics is not promising, most agree that these moves in 2013 will be the building blocks for a bright future at the Garden. 

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#5. Carter-Williams

In February, GoLocal's John Barone broke the news that Hamilton native, and Syracuse Orange guard, Michael Carter-Williams would declare for the 2013 NBA draft after his sophomore season.

Carter-Williams, a 2011 McDonald’s All-American at St. Andrews in Rhode Island, was drafted 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. He is currently having himself quite a rookie year, with 17.6 point and 7.8 assist per game averages.

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#4. Bob Lobel

For more than three decades, Bob Lobel was part of the telecast at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  And this year, after the tragic attacks that occurred at that site, Lobel shared his memories of the event, and how the bombings affected him in one of the best-written and well-read articles that GoLocal had the privilege of publishing in 2013.

Read the article here

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#3. Algonquin Lip-Dubbing

The athletes at Northborough's Algonquin Regional High School became internet celebrities in 2013 after their YouTube video went viral.

The video featured dozens of students performing a lip-dub  of a song by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen while backpedaling through the school.

The video was part of a marketing class project, and had more than 18,000 hits within 48 hours of being published.

Watch the amazing video here.

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#2. Aaron Hernandez

The Patriots knew that they would potentially need to deal with character issues when they drafted Aaron Hernandez in 2010.

In 2013, those issues came to the forefront in a large way when their star tight end was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd in June. Hernandez is currently awaiting trial from the Bristol County House of Corrections.

If it wasn't bad enough for Hernandez, things got worse.  Later in June, authorities began to investigate Hernandez' involvement in a 2012 double homicide in South Boston.

The GoLocal Sports Team will surely provide further news on these cases in 2014. 

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#1. Marathon Bombings

The biggest sports story in New England of 2013 transcended athletics, touching the lives of our local communities and much of the world.

On Monday, April 15--Patriots Day in the Bay State-- an otherwise normal celebratory day in Boston turned tragic just before 3:00 PM. Just feet away from the finish line for the Boston Marathon, two explosions from homemade bombs went off, killing three spectators, and injuring more than two hundred.

The tragedy gripped the entire nation; sparking emotions ranging from fear to outrage. But from the wreckage, emerged evidence of New England's resilience. From the impassioned speech at Fenway by David Ortiz, and Rene Rancourt's touching rendition of the National Anthem at the TD Garden, to the outpouring of support through the One Fund Boston, and the individual heroes like Carlos Arredondo and Joe Andruzzi (along with many, many others); New Englanders and Americans responded in an enormous way.

Read more of GoLocal's Coverage of the bombings here.


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