Many Central New York skiers likely have been waiting for more ideal conditions to hit the slopes this season, and it looks like they might be in luck. Some ski resorts are optimistic after a rather lackluster start.
Make no mistake, the trails and slopes have been open, just not at the number we’d typically see at this point in the season. Jim Morris is snow sports director at Toggenburg Mountain in Fabius.
"Things have been pretty rough. The first month, we didn't get the cold weather we need to make snow. Therefore, without anything from mother nature, the skiing has been sparse, I guess you could say."
There was an early blast of winter in mid-November, almost too early for the ski season, followed by relatively mild conditions with little snow in December. Peter Harris is owner/operator of Song Mountain in Tully and Labrador Mountain in Truxton.
"It's your classic Central New York weather roller coaster."
He says the weather didn’t cooperate during a critical time of the season.
"We can get upwards of 40 percent of our walk-in business during that two week period, Christmas and New Years. Everyone remembers New Year's Eve we had 50 degrees, high wind, and maybe an inch of rain. That's didn't help New Year's Day much."
But, single digits Sunday night, and more on the way for the latter part of the week mean ideal snow making weather. That has Jim Morris at Toggenburg optimistic since they only have 3 to 4 trails open.
"It looks like a pretty good few days in a row to make snow. If the weather holds, we should be in good shape by the weekend."
And, Peter Harris says maybe beyond…
"I was listening to a spot on NPR on my way over from Labrador, and they were talking about a Polar Vortex moving down into the lower 48 sometime in mid-January. We're looking forward to any Polar Vortex we can get, along with Nor'easters and lake effect."
Morris from Toggenburg tells skiers to hang in there, and check conditions often.
"Don't give up. There's going to be some great skiing to come. We're going to have some good skiing very soon."
Meanwhile, Harris urges skiers not to rule out a possible visit.
"Even in marginal weather conditions, the skiing and snowboarding tend to be OK. It's always better to have a couple of feet of new snow. When that happens, we rejoice."