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Friday December 21st 2012 10:09am MST

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Daily Snow One Sentence Summary: Powder crazy in WV, MD and PA this weekend with 8-14 inches likely by tomorrow evening with up to 18 above 3500 ft; please be ready for blizzard conditions if you will be traveling to Deep Creek or Pittsburgh between now and Saturday evening.

Today - Sunday: Winter is finally here, most resorts at elevation (except Wintergreen) are already making snow and will pick up between 8-14 inches between now and tomorrow evening as winds persist out of the west and drive intense upslope squalls. Lower elevation areas should be able to crank up the guns this evening and make snow for around 16 hours per day between now and Monday. Temperatures will remain below freezing until at least Monday for areas above 2000 ft, allowing around the clock snowmaking for Timberline, Canaan, Snowshoe, 7 Springs, Wisp, Hidden Valley, Mystic Mountain, Winterplace, and Wintergreen. I expect many of these areas will open limited terrain on Sunday.


Next Week:
The Christmas week forecast is a difficult one. Two systems will likely impact our area, one on Christmas Eve through Christmas Morning and another on the 26th and 27th.

The first system will likely start as showers or mixed precipitation in the mountains but change to rain before going back to snow showers as the storm moves out. Generally, I don’t expect much of an impact either from rain or snow with precipitation totals generally below .25 inches of water equivalent.

The second storm looks to be significantly more powerful and bring with it much higher precipitation totals. Big question of course is precipitation type, which will be completely dependent on the track of the storm when it passes our area. A storm track further east, paralleling the coast, would bring mixed precipitation changing to snow for the entire forecast area (including DC & Baltimore). A track further west, over western VA or WV, would likely mean mixed precipitation changing to rain then back to snow with the bulk of the precipitation falling as rain for most areas. As of now, my gut favors the second track; not exactly what we want given the bulk of the precipitation would fall as rain. That said, we are still over 5 days out and need to wait until at least Sunday until forecast models come to more of a consensus.

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