For Skiers and snowboarders, the “winter” of 2015-2016 was a tear to forget. Mother Nature has forced us to hope for a better 2016-2017 season. The view of bare ground might be a pleasant site for those of the people who hate snow, but for those of us who gravitate towards the mountains for outdoor activities- it was like pulling a band-aid off of a scraped knee. We wait all summer for snow, and it just didn’t come.
All six New England states set records for the warmth. In fact, the lower 48 states it was the warmest winter in 121 years of record keeping, according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. It was very depressing for riders. Whether it was because of El Nino, climate change or a combination of both, result record breaking lack of snowfall. The year before El Nino blessed us with so much snow- we almost were praying for it to stop. That was last year, when many places in southern New England set records of the opposite variety during the blizzard-filled 2014-2015 season.
In 2014-2015, Wachusett Mountain in Leominster, Ma received a record snowfall of 143 inches. But in the 20115-2016 season, the resort only received 28 inches during the ski/snow season. Killington Mountain in Veroont only got 81 inches and the year prior is was 250 of dumping. Loon Mountain located in New Hampshire got 66 inches and the year before 160 inches of fluffy white stuff. Sunday River in Maine only got 60 inches and they had 167 inches the year before. Most of those snowfall totals were record lows.
The only saving grace to the season, was that the mountains have great machines for snow making. Even though, the season had higher temperatures, there were still periods of cold weather to allow them to make artificial snow. I only hit the slopes about three times, and that was my record low in 7 years of skiing and snowboarding.
Thanks to El Nino and the weather patterns, this 2016-2017 winter season should be good. The secondary phase of El Nino which is known as La Nina is due to begin and that could result in a snowier season, fingers crossed. La Nina is the cool sister to El Nnino with usually low ocean temperatures . La Nina is predicted a weak La Nina to develop late fall and into the winter. In the East, snowfall is expected to be normal in the beginning of winter but the second part of the season, it should be snowy. Great news for skiers and snowboarders every where. Bad news for Boston drivers.
Always be safe, and wear a helmet.