Opening Day Forecasted
Posted November 1, 2012
We want to give our guests an update regarding our snowmaking plan and potential opening this weekend.
Currently, cold temperatures are forecasted to start the evening of Friday, November 2, and continue into early next week. I want to take a moment to explain the difference between the upcoming cold spell and the October 11 cold spell that allowed us to open October 13-14, 2012, after one day of snowmaking.
First, a brief snowmaking lesson from our Director of Mountain Operations, Jeff Temple:
In snowmaking, one of the most important terms is “wet bulb.” We typically can’t make snow unless the wet bulb is at 28 degrees or lower. Wikipedia has a very in-depth explanation.
Jeff has a much simpler version:
To calculate wet bulb, we take the ambient outside temperature (what the reading is on the thermometer), and adjust it for humidity. The combination of those two factors gives us a “web bulb” temperature. See the chart below:
|28||75%||26||Better (typical early season)|
Back to our current weather pattern: our weather is forecasting to be in the mid to high 20’s Friday night into Saturday (good), with high humidity (bad). While cars in the Killington area may have ice on their windows, these temps will not be ideal for snowmaking. As everyone knows, the weather changes very quickly in Vermont, and we will know much more once we see the detailed forecast on Friday.
So, when will Killington open?
Our goal is to open as quickly as possible. Based on the current forecast, we believe that it will be difficult to open Saturday, November 3. However, there is a chance we will be able to open Sunday, November 4. Weather for Sunday and into early next week is forecasted to improve substantially for snowmaking with lower temperatures and humidity.
While we want to be careful not to overpromise, we are trying to balance giving you as much information as possible as soon as we can. I wanted to share this with our guests in hopes that it will allow everyone to be “in the loop” so plans can be made accordingly.
I understand that many of our guests are dealing with more important things in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy than planning a ski weekend. We were truly fortunate to receive an outpouring of support from last year’s Irene storm, and we wish everyone affected by Sandy a safe and speedy recovery.
Thanks for reading, and we will have further updates on our snowmaking/opening plan as the forecast becomes clearer.