Thursday morning, CNN was reporting that Wilmington received three feet of snow, the most snowfall in the region. Most Wilmingtonians, however, were reporting between 24 and 30 inches of snow.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Evan Heller, snowfall varied around southern Vermont. NWS totals for Guilford were 20 inches, Marlboro officially received 16 inches, and Bennington received only 10 inches. According to their data, Woodford had the highest snowfall in the region with 26 inches. No official information was available for Deerfield Valley towns, but Mount Snow reported 20 inches of snow.
The high snowfall was thanks to the convergence of two storms, Heller says. A storm that left southern states floundering in snow as it moved up the East Coast was bolstered by a storm moving in from the west. The western storm didn’t leave much snow in its path until it merged with the southern storm. “There wasn’t much snowfall further west,” Heller said. “But the storm enhanced the snowfall overnight.”
Heller says the region can expect another dusting of snow, about an inch, when a “clipper” comes through late Saturday night. But temperatures are expected to turn colder Thursday evening, with lows in the single digits, until things warm up again midweek.
Wednesday’s nor’easter is considered the “perfect storm” for snow-dependent local businesses. Not only did the storm leave behind two or more feet of powdery snow for great skiing conditions, it dropped plenty of snow on Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts – reminding residents of those areas that it’s time to go skiing. Mount Snow’s Vinnie Lewis calls it “the backyard effect”; when people see snow in their own backyard, they dig out their skis and head for the mountains.
Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Sibilia says the phones start ringing when it snows in the states south of the Vermont border, and this week is no exception. “People are snatching up the rooms that are left,” she says. “This weekend the valley’s going to be pretty darn full.”
And visitors should be in for a good experience this holiday weekend. Lewis says the conditions are the best he’s seen in his eight years at the mountain. “It’s awesome,” he says. “It’s like western champagne powder, light fluffy snow. It’s been like that all year.”
On Wednesday, Lewis said he was “still grinning” from a day of fun on the mountain as the snowstorm tapered off to a few flurries. “On days like this there’s an amazing camaraderie between guests,” he says, “people cheering other people on. Everyone’s in a fantastic mood.”
The snowfall allowed Mount Snow to open “nearly 100%” of their trails immediately, and Lewis said 100% of the trails will be open before the weekend. “There are a couple of trails on Sunbrook we need to go out and pack down to make sure we don’t lose it,” he said.
This is the second holiday week storm, and Lewis says the weather and a rebound in the national economy have been good news for the resort. “We’re very happy with skier visits so far this year,” he said.
To avoid the rush for lift tickets and rentals on Saturday morning, Lewis recommends skiers stop by Mount Snow’s Clocktower building Friday night, where lift tickets will be on sale and rentals will be available until midnight. Lewis says parents can even make child care arrangements Friday night. “Avoid the hassle Saturday morning by spending 20 minutes at the Clocktower Friday night.”
This weekend Mount Snow will have plenty of fun off the hill, too. A torchlight parade followed by fireworks is slated to begin at 5:30 on Sunday, January 16. Lewis says the festivities are timed to coincide with halftime during the New England Patriots vs. New York Jets game on Sunday. “We’re going to have a projector and big screen in the Taproom on the fourth floor, and we’re hoping people can slip out during halftime to enjoy the show on the mountain, and get back in time to watch the rest of the game.”
There will also be music at several mountain venues, and a Grommet Jam on Monday, January 17.
For more information about events on and off the mountain visit www.mountsnow.com and www.visitvermont.com.