A long early season in the ravines

Old Man Winter showed up this week, not in a thick coat but in a worn out old t-shirt. Freezing fog, 1-2″ of snow here and there, a smattering of ice pellets, and rain is no way to roll into winter. At least there is a covering of snow at Pinkham Notch and it continues up the mountain, the summit recording a meager 6 inches on the ground as of 5am. A total of 13.6 inches for the month of December so far.  So if you’re planning a winter escape this weekend look farther North, way farther.

Yesterday’s mixed bag of precipitation and mild temps didn’t do anything for our already thin  ice conditions. A couple of cold fronts moving in today will set us up for a cold weekend with a windy start. Temps this low should help slow down all that running water in Pinnacle and in Tucks. It’s nice to finally see the thermometer reading something other than mid 30’s.  High winds today and into tonight should decrease over Saturday and Sunday down into the 30 to 40 mph range. I’ll mention the possibility of 1 – 2″ of snow throughout the day today just so I can remember how to spell snow.  No fear of desperate post-holing approaches this weekend.

The long range weather looks like it’s going to stay below freezing, but with no interesting storms slated to come through. With that in mind we still haven’t posted a General Advisory so be sure to check on the weather and conditions prior to heading into the mountains. The higher summit forecast from the Mount Washington Observatory can be found at http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/summit_forecast.php . The National Weather Service website can be found at http://weather.gov/ and they’ve got tons of interesting weather information.

Here’s a little nugget that shows the snow depth across the country:

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience.
  • You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.

Joe Klementovich, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713  TTY (603) 466-2856