October 29th will be pinned on the calendar as a pivotal moment in weather. The incredible events surrounding Hurricane Sandy, including devastation along the most populated coastline in the US also had a cold side. For the second year in a row, a mega early season snowstorm brought incredible accumulations to interior sections of Mid Atlantic. While the heaviest snow in last year’s storm was heavier a little farther east and into New England, it appears nature has a sense of irony.
Snowshoe is the highest resort in the Mid Atlantic, and the village is at the top of the 4,848 foot mountain West Virginia. They had live reports on The Weather Channel and were expected to get over 2 feet of snow. Similar conditions were expected for Ski Wisp in Garrett County, Maryland, although their elevation is a little lower around 3,000 feet high.
Seasons out of whack!
These images are from Seven Springs in western PA. Last year they had an unusual season but faired better than others in the east. The October 29th, 2011 storm dropped 9 inches on the slopes. This was followed by one of the warmest winters since opening, but ended with the biggest storm on April 23rd, 2012 and a fresh 18 inches on the slopes. At that point, they still had some base, and were able to open up at least one part of the mountain a day later. April 24th, 2012 will go down as the latest opening for this resort on record.
I went on an April snow chase for that storm. See my trip to Seven Springs with photos and video:
Part One: Driving through western Pennsylvania
Part Two: The sights and sounds at Seven Springs
First tracks? Not quite:
Superstorm Sandy has brought 14 inches of heavy wet snow to Seven Springs, but there will not be any skiing or boarding this time. It is just too early and they are not prepared. Even the great snow master Dick Barron could not make things ready as the snow must be packed down and treated.
I asked PR director Anna Weltz for a snow report this morning, and she spoke on behalf of the resort saying:
“So far, we have received about 14 inches of wet snow. While we won’t open for skiing and snowboarding, we are hopeful that this is a sign of things to come this winter. The consistency of the snow and the winds are too dangerous to welcome skiers. We hope everyone is safe and warm and extend our thoughts and prayers to those who are enduring Sandy’s wrath.”
One more bit of irony, This weekend Seven Springs has their annual fall sports event Mud on the Mountain. I have a feeling there will be plenty of that slop available by then. While the snow will melt quickly, they sure hope this is not a repeat of last year and this winter produces more rather than less snow.
Blizzard Warnings were issued for the highest elevations along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains for this storm. Blizzard conditions are officially when heavy snow is accompanied by winds over 35 mph for three consecutive hours. Essentially white out conditions. This storm brought the some mountain tops gusts over 70 mph, lightning, thunder, and has lasted for more than a day.
A few days ago I showed a computer model that was wrapping in cold air to the core of Sandy from the west and south. It appears that was correct as snow was reported in the suburbs just west of Baltimore this morning in Sykesville. The ground was too warm, so there was not stickage.
Important Storm Related Articles:
- Hurricane Sandy wipes out Ocean City Fishing Pier. Time lapse video
- Hurricane Sandy and The Chesapeake Bay in Maryland
- Hurricane Sandy floods the coast. One model shows snow wrapping in behind the storm
- Rumors of a perfect storm or a whole lot of nothing from TS Sandy
- Hurricane Sandy puts Maryland in State of Emergency, devastating impacts beyond
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