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SnoCast: Who Gets Tricks, and Who Gets Snowy Treats?

StrattonResort_TW_102820 Webcams atop Stratton Mountain show a wintry scene on Oct 28. More snow will fall as remnants of hurricane Zeta passes southern New England (StrattonMtn_Twitter)

Halloween weekend and first days of November will feature forecast tricks and treats. With a leftover hurricane delivering snow to New England and ski areas opening in the west, this time of year is always a treat to build ski season excitement.


We're starting in the east this week, where leftover moisture from hurricane Zeta will deliver a fresh coat of snow to parts of New York and New England. In what may seem like a trick, actually turns into a snowy treat for New England as Zeta’s moisture clashes with colder air Thursday Night and Friday. This storm will deliver both rain and snow to New England, but expect mainly snow in southern Vermont, New Hampshire, and central New York's peaks with a general 2-6" of accumulation, with locally 6"+ in Vermont's southern mountains by Friday. A real treat for ski areas like Killington, Pico, Mount Snow, Stratton, Okemo, and Mount Sunapee where they will wake up to a tropical winter wonderland (of sorts) on Friday.

Conditions clear out and stay seasonable through the weekend, before another quick hit of snow bursts, snow squalls, and very cold (Arctic) air returns Monday, with snow favoring the northern mountains of the Adirondacks and Vermont.



In the West, recent cold and snowy weather has blanketed the mountains from Alberta to New Mexico with a widespread 6-18”, with some areas gaining 2 feet at the peaks (just check out the picture proof below!). This has allowed a few ski areas to open before the calendar says November, including Wolf Creek in Colorado and Lake Louise in Alberta.  

Looking ahead, a storm moves into British Columbia Friday, dropping a general 3-8” (8-20” cm) on the Coast Mountains and Rockies. Otherwise, conditions will stay mainly dry and seasonable for the western U.S. until the end of next week (Nov 5-7th) when the pattern turns colder and more active again. While temps will be cold enough at nights to blow snow, many ski areas still need moisture to fill up the snowmaking ponds, and unfortunately not much help from tricky Mother Nature in the short term forecast.


Looking Ahead

The 8-14 day outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center always gives us a (probabilistic) clue at how the weather pattern will shift. For this outlook, covering November 5-11, expect colder temperatures to gradually return to western Canada and the U.S. northern Rockies, along with generally above average precipitation. Meanwhile, the east turns milder and drier.



We’ll catch you each week for another edition of SnoCast throughout this winter season. For now, think snowy thoughts, and have a safe Halloween weekend.

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