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Potential blizzard to blanket New England mountains

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Staff  December 29, 2009 10:48 AM

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The impending New Year's storm could turn out to be a whopper. According to Accuweather, "the storm is destined to become the "New Year's Blizzard" for northern New England into the St. LawrenceValley."


That's great news for New England ski areas, many of which saw upwards of 15 inches (Jay Peak) of new snow yesterday.  NECN's Tim Kelley explains that this "Blizzard Loop" refers to storms which "slow and even retrograde westward, before resuming the west to east movement we most often see." He points out that doesn't necessarily mean we'll see a blizzard, but that one is not out of the question. Regardless, a stalled weather pattern could result in a bonanza of powder for nearly all of Vermont, New Hampshire and Northwestern Maine.


Here's what Josh Fox of the Single Chair Weather Blog has to say about the storm's potential for Mad River Glen:


What makes this situation potentially special is the ability of our eastern trough to continue digging long after snow commences. This will allow the storm to pivot and attain what's referred to as a "negative tilt" greatly elongating the period in which it snows on the mountain. There are in fact indications that the strong surface storm will retrograde from the New England coast inland as it occludes. It could result in several days of snow and epic powder and a nice payback for another rainy Christmas. It's probably a little early to get too buried in accumulation predictions but the reader should get the idea.


Before you go and make plans for the weekend though, keep in mind that the strong winds that are keeping many lifts on hold this morning could repeat this weekend. Accuweather suggests that "nasty, cold winds will continue to cause problems through Sunday in the region." That could make it difficult for many resorts to open fully, meaning the weekend warriors may have to surrender much of the fresh powder to Monday morning skiers and riders.

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Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.

Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at and


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