It was a rocky 2022-2023 ski and ride season in the Mid-Atlantic. Despite one of the warmest and least snowy winters on record for several areas, snowmaking provided bases and allowed the season to stay alive. There were several big snowstorms that started and ended the season with a bang. Read on for more updates about what happened this season…
We had a lot of ups and downs this season due to a persistent La Nina weather pattern. This pattern brought mixed precipitation and warm temperatures, with only a few big snow storms. The season started slow but consistent snowmaking opened a lot of terrain by the end of December. The rest of the winter was rough with a lot of mixed storms but some late-season magic in March. Here is a look at the season’s snow accumulation throughout the region.
Check out this map on the OpenSnow season’s snow accumulation as well.
The above snow totals were nearly below average everywhere and left many areas with record or near-record low snowfall amounts. The only areas that did well were in the Catskills thanks to March’s Nor’easter. Check out the snow totals compared to the average snowfall, with a percent of the departure from the normal map.
Early Season Highlights:
The season started slowly in November due to mild temperatures that caused a mix of rain and snow, with little snowmaking. The northwestern Mid-Atlantic got the most snow due to a typical early-season lake effect pattern.
We saw this early season lake effect in a big way with a record-breaking snow band that affected the Buffalo, NY area with 5-6 feet of snow from November 16th - 21st. This snow band brought several feet of snow to nearby resorts like Buffalo Ski Club and Kissing Bridge.
December brought widespread snowmaking conditions and all resorts opened. There was still something missing and that was a lack of natural snow for several resorts. The northwestern Mid-Atlantic was still the best place to find snow as lake effect snow continued.
Another record-breaking lake effect snow band affected the Buffalo, NY area with several feet of snow and just under a foot for nearby resorts from December 23rd - 27th. A cold arctic air mass made the holidays a cold time to be on the slopes. Here is a look at the two big lake effect events in the northwestern Mid-Atlantic.
The November 16th - 21st event is on the left and the December 23rd - 27th event is on the right. Courtesy of the Buffalo, National Weather Service.
Mid-Winter Highlights (or lack thereof):
Moving into January and February were the hardest days of winter with very little natural snow and above-average temperatures. The triple dip La Nina that I described in the Seasonal Outlook proved to be bad for the East Coast. We had an active storm track, but storm systems tracked through the region and to the north, which gave us a lot of rain, snow, and mixed precipitation events.
Check out the departure from normal temperatures from December 2022 through February 2023.
The only surprise in the mid-winter blues was a couple of upslope snow shower events in North Carolina. These events gave a few areas several feet of snow, which is always special for the southern resorts.
Late Winter Highlights:
March was the best month of the season. We finally got a weather pattern that brought consistent colder air and snow. Unfortunately, this weather pattern gave snow mostly to the northern half of the Mid-Atlantic with southern resorts still struggling to receive natural snow.
The biggest event of the season was a Nor’easter from March 12th - 15th with several feet of snow in NY and even a foot of snow in western MD and WV thanks to upslope snow showers. This event was a major boost and extended several resort seasons this year.
The ups and downs of the 2023-2023 Mid-Atlantic ski and ride season are what makes the East Coast so hardy. This hardiness is what makes us passionate to shred the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains no matter the conditions.
Cheers to many more turns, making memories, and friends on the slopes. I really appreciate all of those who read the forecasts and I’ll be back next season in November to give you the latest (and greatest) Mid-Atlantic ski and ride forecast. Have a nice summer and talk to you in November!
Zach Butler, Meteorologist for the Mid-Atlantic Daily Snow.