What weekend will you get faceshots like these? Darian Boyle shot by John Atkinson at Sugarbush Resort in 2019.
If you’re trying to plan your winter — and with reservations required at so many resorts you really should be– wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball telling you when the biggest snowfalls would happen, what days would be the warmest and coldest, and when it might rain?
Well, no one has a crystal ball but we asked three of the Northeast’s top ski conditions forecasters to look at their data this falll and project out: What will be the warmest, coldest, snowiest, rainiest days of the coming season?
These three local weather experts, all with strong track records for callling the shots, looked ahead. Here’s who they are and what they had to say:
Scott Braaten: “I’ve been skiing since I was 3 and am fascinated by snow,” says Braaten. A former weather reporter for Hearst-Argyle TV stations in the Northeast, Braaten is a snow reporter for Stowe Mountain Resort and provides updates on weather and conditions in the northern Greens on his Facebook page, Braatencast.
Mallory Brook: A former TV broadcast meteorologist with a meteorology degree from Penn State, Brooke founded Nor’easter Weather Consulting in 2017 and does forecasting for 20 ski resorts from Maine to Pennsylvania to Michigan. She lives in Norway, Maine.
Josh Fox: A Mad River Glen shareholder for 15 years, Fox also has a meteorology degree from Penn State and hosts The Single Chair Weather Blog. “The best thing I can say for myself is that I’ve been doing this for a while now—16 years. All that experience hasn’t stopped me from being wrong, but you still learn a few things along the way.
1. BIGGEST SNOWSTORM OF THE 20/21 SEASON?
Scott Braaten: January 1, with a widespread 2 to 3 feet to show us that 2021 will be better than 2020.
Mallory Brooke: I’m feeling like we’ll have a whopper in February of this year. Let’s say 22 inches on February 10.
Josh Fox: I like the idea of a late start to winter this year and a big Feb. I’ll go with February 16.
2. BEST POWDER WEEKEND? IF YOU ARE HEADING TO VERMONT?
SB: Last weekend in March when late season storms clobber the northern mountains, we have the deepest snowpack of the season, and everyone from the big cities has already moved on from winter sports.
MB: March has increasingly become the best month to be out. Plan for March 20 and 21. Season cold is lasting longer, and typically the thaws are out of the way by March.
JF: February 20 to 21.
3. FIRST DAY THE SNOW STAKE AT MT. MANSFIELD MEASURES ABOUT 50 INCHES?
SB: January 1st after the big snowstorm.
MB: First day at 50 inches might be December 29.
JF: January 20.
4. COLDEST DAY OF THE SEASON?
SB: President’s Day, with -30F at the summits along with 60mph NW winds.
MB: A cold Valentine’s Day probably is in store for us, with -15 to -10 degree temperatures.
JF: February 7. High of 3 degrees.
5. WARMEST DAY OF. THE SEASON?
SB: Third weekend in April with 80 degrees bringing a beach party to the snow.
MB: Warmest day probably comes with a thaw. Mid 50’s with some rain most likely, on January 26.
JF: December 5.
6. FIRST BIG THAW?
SB: Right before MLK weekend of course, when the January thaw interrupts the season.
MB: Last week of January for a thaw— probably only one this year.
JF: December 1 .
7. THIS SEASON COULD SET A RECORD FOR…
SB: Number of faceshots.
MB: I don’t think we’ll see many extremes this winter. So the record will probably be the most snowmaking hours used in November/ December by resorts to open as much terrain as possible early in the season.
JF: Rain on Christmas would be so 2020.