Thursday January 24th 2013 6:54am MST
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Daily Snow One Sentence Summary: Our coldest stretch since 2005 continues with temperatures below freezing at resorts through Sunday or Monday; clipper moving out, leaving behind 1-5 inches for local resorts – more light snow to come on Friday.
The clipper that moved through last night is slowly easing its way out of the area, leaving behind a coating of 1-5 inches throughout the area. Winner seems to be Canaan Valley (Canaan Resort, Timberline, and Whitegrass) with a report of 5 inches of fresh snow since yesterday morning. Snow showers/flurries will linger over the higher elevations for most of the day as winds pick up from the NW, make sure to bundle up if you are heading out to ski/board – highs will range from the high single digits to teens with wind chills near or below zero.
In addition to the bit of natural snowfall, resorts have taken advantage of our spurt of cold weather by aggressively making snow to build base and open any terrain they can reach a snow gun. Base depths throughout the area are now 2-4 ft+ compared to the 6-10 inches resorts were reduced to earlier in January – great news for the longevity of the ski season, snow quality, and overall coverage over the remaining two months of the season.
Friday’s Snow: Like with the clipper, Friday’s storm is going to be fast moving and accumulations will be fairly light. That said, resorts in WV/MD/Western PA will likely see some decent totals (4-8 inches likely) thanks to orographic lift (mountains forcing air to rise and squeezing out additional moisture) – I wouldn’t be surprised if areas near Canaan Valley picked up close to 10 inches through Saturday thanks to high liquid:snow ratios and lingering snow showers through Saturday. For other areas, totals will likely be limited to between 1-4 inches. As far as timing, expect snow to develop starting mid morning for western areas and early afternoon for the remainder of the region, ending overnight except over WV, western PA, and western MD where snow showers will linger into Saturday.
Overall, decent system to top off a very wintry week – still a good deal of uncertainty regarding totals due to a general lack of moisture available for the system.
Saturday/Sunday-Next Week: Near perfect skiing weather!!! Temperatures will slowly rise on Saturday then Sunday, most of the area will finally break the freezing mark. Monday will start a big warm-up for the area with temperatures above average Monday-Thursday/Friday, rain possible early and late in the week. Models indicate we may transition back into a period of cold and below average temperatures starting sometime late next week – stay tuned!
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