If the snow predictions are right, we should see an improved situation for winter outdoor sports enthusiasts for this weekend. With the exception of the Champlain Valley and the Southern Adirondacks, most of the region had about 3 to 6 inches of spotty snow cover before this current storm, which will serve as a nice base for the snow we’re receiving now.
The higher summits in Northern Hamilton County already had 8 to 12 inches and the High Peaks already had 8 inches to more than two feet at the highest elevations.
This latest snow should bring an additional 4 to 8 inches everywhere. Be prepared with traction devices and skis or snowshoes if you are headed into the backcountry this weekend.
Temperatures on High Peaks summits are expected to remain in the lower 20s through the weekend, with mostly single-digit wind chill temperatures.
Rivers and streams are still above normal for this time of year, with some well above normal. Some stream crossings may be difficult or impassable this weekend. Many lakes and ponds are still covered with dangerously thin ice in places. Use extreme caution around water bodies this weekend. Don’t expect ice to be safe, just because it’s covered with snow.
All ski facilities will have enough cover for some very good skiing this weekend. It’s been cold enough for snowmaking and grooming will be underway today. This is a good opportunity for some cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing will be available around the region, although there may still be some uncovered obstacles and the steeps will probably be thin, so use caution. The best skiing is going to be on the smoother flatter terrain around the region, but the route up through Avalanche Pass will be skiable as well.
Conditions on snowmobile trails have improved and most will be open. Avoid ice on lakes and ponds and be aware that blowdown will be an issue this weekend – so take it slow. The best snowmobiling will be in Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex County. Elsewhere you should contact a local snowmobile club before going out.