Monday, May 27, 2013

Skiing The Adirondacks Over Memorial Day

While we've enjoyed a cool but pretty nice Memorial Day weekend, the Adirondacks got slapped around by Mother Nature.

Whiteface Ski Resort, near Lake Placid, picked up 34 inches of snow between Friday and Saturday.  Granted, the summit of the mountain is over 4800 feet above sea level, so elevation is definitely a helpful friend as temperatures were cold enough aloft to support snow falling.  However, they weren't the only ones to pick up snow from the storm system that brought us the chilly winds of change on Friday into Saturday.   Snowfall was reported into lower elevations of Vermont and New Hampshire as well, with at least trace amounts common down to around 1500 feet (think some of your Pocono hills as a comparison point).

Snowfall in late May is pretty unusual for this part of the world -- it does snow into May on occasion up here but not in quantities such as this.

The setup was such that as a cold pocket of air aloft pushed east on the heels of Friday's cold front, it interacted with surface low pressure that developed over us Friday morning.  This surface low was captured into the cold core low, intensifying both and slowing the upper feature and the surface low down as they pushed through New England.  Temperatures at 5000 feet were running -4 to -6 Celsius, which would easily correspond to snow at Whiteface and other high elevations given the plentiful precipitation this system provided.

Other snowfall totals included 13" at Mount Mansfield in Vermont, 5.6" at Mount Washington (although over two inches of precipitation fell with temperatures below freezing), and 6" in Walden, VT (about 2200' up).