Those in the know say that the tree sap runs best on dry days when temperatures start at sub-freezing levels but then warm to well above freezing. This is essentially what mother nature has planned for the weekend. Clear skies Friday night and a slackening wind will allow temperatures to fall to as low as 15 in parts of the Mad River Valley. At lift opening Saturday, readings are likely to remain in the 20's until much of the mountain sees the above freezing temperatures by noon under plenty of sunshine. The afternoon Saturday should be delightful with soft snow on much of the mountain and temperatures between 35 (summit) and 45 base. Sunday, April Fools, will be a repeat of sorts only that temperatures during the day will respond quicker to the early morning sun before that sun fades behind increasing high clouds in the afternoon. I am optimistic that Sunday stays dry and that the snow will again be nice and corned up during the afternoon.
The Big Challenge
The folks at MRG certainly would like to keep the operation going through Easter and the big challenge here will be to survive some serious adversity between Monday April 2nd and Wednesday April 4th. To put it bluntly, this is a lousy stretch of weather where temperatures and dewpoints will remain above freezing during two seperate periods of rain. No doubt it will do some damage to the remaining base. The first period of rain arrives Sunday night. I would expect about a third of an inch with this first batch and then most of Monday is drizzly or just cloudy and damp. After a dry and mild day Tuesday, another potentially more signifcant period of rain arrives Tuesday night into Wednesday. Both major medium range computer models show this to be a rather dicey predicament for us, one which we will hope to at least partially weasel our way out of between now and then. I know you warm weather lovers may be ready to sign off on winter but the pattern looks to take us on another twist into Easter and I would rather not have this twist preceded by a wash-out.
The Easter Freeze ?
By Thursday of next week, the weather will again undergo a dramatic shift. One, which according to all indications, will send us right back into the grips of old man winter (A nice gentlemen who I have tried to befriend over the years in hopes of earning favors). The turn to colder weather, especially in the midst of the more unstable month of April, has a very good chance of bringing significant terrain induced or even synoptic (weather system induced) snow. Thus is the reason for my dismay over the rain early next week since it would be nice if the current base would remain in tact for the cold weather since I expect this cold to remain with us through the holiday weekend.