“Rain on Christmas would be so 2020.” Back in early September when we asked three weather forecasters to predict this season’s weather [see Weather Predictions For this Winter] for our Fall issue, that’s what one of them said. Bingo.
Not only did Vermont and much of the Northeast see rain, we saw whopping amounts of rain. In the Catskills, nearly 6.5 inches fell, soaking the snowpack that had piled up to 40 inches during Winter Storm Gail and sending a slope-full of snow tearing down Belleayre Mountain into the ski center’s lodge. The wet slab avalanche tore through doors and windows at about 5:30 in the morning on Christmas day, setting off alarms. No one was hurt but the lodge faced major damage and the mountain closed for Saturday.
In Burlington, Vt. record highs hit 64 degrees. “That’s warmer than Key West, Fla. where it’s 63 degrees” noted forecaster Scott Braaten on his Braatencast Facebook page. On top of that, winds shut down many of the summit lifts in the area.
Around Vermont, ski areas were assessing the damage on Saturday morning and sending groomers and snowmakers out with a mission to try to resurrect Christmas week, typically the busiest of the year. The back end of the storm did dump two inches of snow and Mount Snow, which has nearly 100-percent snowmaking, was reporting 30 trails open and an 18-inch base.
Killington, which is famous for being able to lay down enough snow to hold a World Cup in just two days, was also able to salvage 50 trails and turned it’s all-star snowmaking and grooming team loose on the mountain.
With temperatures back down into the teens, this week will be a chance for groomers like Killington’s Brian Hughes (see “The Grooviest Groomer”) and snowmakers to work their magic (see Snowmaking: The Art Of Damage Control.
One thing we’d love to see? A tip jar for snowmakers/groomers this week. We’d fill it.
As for Mother Nature? Here’s what we have to say:
You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You were really out to steal
You took all our snow
You laid us grass-high low
Mr. Grinch, how does that make us feel?
You’re a vile one, Mr. Grinch
The snowstakes are showing less than an inch
And you wiped out the lodge at Belleayre and it really wasn’t fair
To send New York a wet slab avalanche.
You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch
Friends, you don’t have none
You’re a disaster
For every weather forecaster
And you’re making a huge mistake
Messing with our snowstakes
And ruining every run.
All that rain homie?
We’re blasting the snowguns
Think 2020 was your joke?
Well dude, it’s going up in smoke.
Because soon we’ll be a blasting
Snow that will be everlasting
So Mr. Grinch, take your last toke.