By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
WHITEFIELD – Snow, which blanketed and in some cases buried parts of New Hampshire Sunday comes at an important time for the New Hampshire ski and snowmobile industry, just ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day on Monday, Jan. 15.
Towns received as much as 18 inches of snow from the weekend storm and the National Weather Service was reporting a winter storm watch in effect for Tuesday into Wednesday with 9 to 13 inches of new snow possible here at the Whitefield Airport followed by intermittent rain and snow and breezy conditions with a warming trend.
But it is not expected to wipe away all the white.
Ski area operators, including those at Nordic centers which rely almost entirely on natural snow, were delighted by the soft fall of dry powder all day Sunday and were busy rolling out and packing it down on trails.
Alpine areas were using the cold conditions to continue to add to their man-made base which had been the primary surface prior to the storm.
And some of the many snowmobile clubs were out packing their trails in some cases for the first time this winter.
Ragged Mountain in Danbury and Pats Peak in Henniker reported 10 inches of new snow and Pats Peak had 100 percent of its terrain open Monday with many school programs going forward this week.
Attitash in Bartlett and Waterville Valley reported eight inches of new snow while Cranmore in North Conway and Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch were reporting seven inches of snow.
Wildcat in Pinkham Notch and Loon in Lincoln reported three inches of new snow.
Kathy Bennett, who handles marketing for the Mount Washington Valley, said ski areas in her area “are in the sweet spot” of the weekend storm and shared photos from Attitash during the snowfall.
“Ski areas also continue to make snow as today’s temps remained in the 20s, perfect for snowmaking,” she said Sunday.
Attitash opened its new Mountaineer Quad Chairlift Sunday.
While the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine indicated a warming trend and rain over Tuesday night and into Wednesday, it was not expected to sweep away all the snow.
The important thing for many ski area operators is that it did snow in the Boston area and southern New Hampshire where many of their potential customers live.
The three-day MLK Weekend is often a busy time at ski areas and perhaps particularly so since the weather didn’t cooperate for the Christmas week.