Late season snow and cold a boon to local ski industry

Last year at this time, most Mid-Atlantic ski resorts were shut down.  This year, many are extending their seasons through the close of March and even into April.

Colder than normal temperatures and several snow-producing storms have allowed resorts to retain and even add to snowpack.

“Conditions are out of this world amazing for mid January let alone the end of March,” writes meteorologist Kyle Dodd for OpenSnow.com’s Mid-Atlantic Daily Snow blog.  “Many local areas have extended their seasons for at least the next week so get out there and take advantage of the cheap lift tickets and great conditions.”

The view over Ski Liberty, March 26, 2013. (Liberty Mountain Resort on Facebook)
The view over Ski Liberty, March 26, 2013. (Liberty Mountain Resort on Facebook)

Ski Liberty, just over an hour north of Washington, D.C. in southern Pennsylvania, is open through this Saturday.

“Our mountain is 100% open with great spring conditions, all trails open with excellent, edge to edge coverage,” its website says.

A view over the slopes of Wintergreen Resort (Wintergreen Resort on Facebook)
A view over the slopes of Wintergreen Resort (Wintergreen Resort on Facebook)

Wintergreen Resort, in central Virginia, is closed midweek but plans to open doors both this Saturday as well as Saturday, April 6.

“It is really hard to believe we have this much snow this late in the season,” says The Mountain Message, Wintergreen’s slope report blog.

Snow cover comparison of March 26 2013 vs. 2012 (NOAA)
Snow cover comparison of March 26 2013 vs. 2012 (NOAA)

As Capital Weather Gang’s Rick Grow discussed last week, the overall weather patterns between this year and last year could not be more different over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S.  A key indicator of the pattern reversal? Just 7.4 percent of the U.S. had snow cover last year – mostly in the Mountain West, whereas almost half of the country has snow on the ground  this year, the most in at least the last 10 years. Snow is on the ground in 44 of 50 states.


Snow cover over the U.S. on March 26, 2013 from NOAA’s Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping system (NOAA).

So far this month over 1741 daily snowfall records have been set or tied compared to  just 616 at this time last year.

Daily snowfall records in March 2013 vs. 2012 (National Climatic Data Center)
Daily snowfall records in March 2013 vs. 2012 (National Climatic Data Center)

 

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local
Next Story
Jason Samenow · March 26, 2013