Following a snow drought during the winter of 2011-2012, skiers and snowboarders of the Northeast are enthusiastic about a good ski season this year.
While November and early December had a slow and mild start, recent storms have delivered snow to the ski resorts of the Northeast.
"Overall, this season is off to a great start. After last year, it's exactly what we needed, what we wanted," Ethan Austin, communications manager of Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine, said. "People are more optimistic this year. Last year was just kind of a downer for skiers."
Sugarloaf Mountain Resort currently has 1,000 acres open for skiing, which is about two times the normal. "This time of year, the average number of acres open is 400-500 acres or even less," Austin said.
Four feet of snow has piled up at Sugarloaf over the past 12 days with active winter storms. A fresh 12-14 inches of snow was unleashed with the post-Christmas storm through Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012.
"We are already kick-starting an active storm track in the Northeast," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.
Pastelok first began talking about good ski weather in the Northeast back in August of 2012.
Ski areas down in the central Appalachians may get snow with the next couple of storms coming along as they track farther south, Pastelok said.
January is expected to be a busy month for East Coast snowstorms, so it appears conditions will stay favorable for skiing and snowboarding this winter.
"Arctic air invasions during the middle of January and a couple big systems mean plenty of snow coming our way," Pastelok said.
It could be a lengthy ski season as well with cold expected to keep snow in place through February and into March.
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While no major storms are pressing the northeastern United States in the short-term, milder air will trigger spotty, light snow and freezing drizzle to start the week.
Urduja, known globally as Kai-tak, will continue to unleash life-threatening flooding rain and mudslides as it slowly crosses the Philippines into Monday.
As frigid air plunges into and builds over the central United States, a stormy pattern with snow, ice and rain may unfold from Texas to Maine for Christmas holiday travelers.
Those getting a head start on holiday travel across the Rockies and Midwest late this week may be faced with disruptive snow along the way.
While waves of arctic air will continue to pour across the Great Lakes and New England this weekend, milder air will surge farther northward early this week.
The cold reprieve unfolding across the United States will not last long with waves of chilly air set to invade many parts of the country in the days leading up to Christmas.
Winds will again kick up and become strong, raising the risk of rapidly spreading wildfires in Southern California through Sunday as firefighters continue to battle the historic Thomas Fire.
After an unseasonably quiet start to December in the northwestern United States, a significant storm will set its sights on the region spanning Tuesday to Wednesday.