Snow Report: Winter Finally Arrives in New England
Winter temperatures have finally arrived in New England, and that means snowmakers are out in full force across the region blasting that white stuff onto trails. Resorts across the region are coming to life after a miserable Christmas vacation week (normally a huge moneymaker for ski areas), but how long will it last with El Niño hanging over the region this winter?
The Last El Niño Winter Was Rough
The last time we had a truly severe El Niño around these parts was during the winter of 1997-1998. It was such a significant weather event that Chris Farley immortalized it on Saturday Night Live. But how did it change our winter? Snowfall records from that year are scattered all over the internet. For the most part, resorts were in rough shape, but the news wasn’t all bad. According to records kept by BestSnow.net, resorts such as Cannon, Loon, Stratton, Stowe, Okemo, and Smugglers Notch were well below their average annual snowfall totals, but places such as Killington, Sugarbush, and Jay Peak were in line with typical snowfalls. The outlier was Sugarloaf. The Carrabassett Valley resort received 54 more inches of snow than normal that winter.
Blue Hills Is Open
Believe it or not, the ski area closest to Greater Boston has begun operations for the 2015/2016 winter season. Blue Hills opened for business on Wednesday after extensive snowmaking all over the ski area. They have not been blessed by snow from Mother Nature, but they’re doing their best with manmade snow. Conditions for today: 4 trails and three lifts, including their double chair to the top.
Wachusett Race League Kicks Off Next Week
Wachusett Mountain, like all mountains in the region, has been hurt by the warm weather from El Niño. Things have been so rough this year that they had to push back the start of their amateur race league and cancel a scheduled racing clinic this weekend. Don’t worry, though—events have been rescheduled for a kickoff next week. Wachusett has one of the largest amateur night ski racing leagues in North America.
After Rocky End To 2015, Magic Mountain Struggles To Open
Snowmaking costs buckets of money because it requires large amounts of electricity and water. Magic Mountain in Vermont has struggled as of late to not only make snow but to provide the electricity required to make it. On December 29, the resort had to replace a transformer after it failed, delaying the start of snowmaking until January 1. Since then, the resort has had to push back the start of the ski season to Martin Luther King Day weekend because of warm temperatures and a lack of a natural snow. On top of all that, the resort has problems with its chairlifts, according to NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com.