The bottom line:
Once this is all boiled down to an actual forecast it looks like this. Even the big snow cover number we saw in the NH this October/November will not be able to thwart the mild weather. Temperatures this winter will average 2-4 degrees above normal for the season. That said, I expect a stretch during the winter with some respectable cold though this will pale in comparison to the cold last winter. The snowfall result should be better than what we see on the temperature front. Expect some very crappy periods, such as the one staring us in the face for early December. When the pattern does align though, we should 1 or perhaps 2 amazing stretches of weather. I am going to guess that this all happens in the Jan/Feb period right now but it's tough to know for sure. Snowfall should come in around average.
Important to remember that those scary red maps only represent how much warmer than average the temp will be. If you look at the numbers, it looks like it's cold enough for snowmaking almost every night for the foreseeable future.
Cold temps in the mountains and mild temps around the house is fine with me.
We worry too much about the early season. I would rather have a banner Feb/March.
Cheers to that.
Only issue for me is if it's a shitty early season, followed by a shitty late season. Here's a thread from 2011-2012 (a year with a whopping 82" of snow at Gore for the whole winter) where we were all saying "it will get better, it will get better" until it didn't:
This looks to be more of a favorable season for the west. I'm thinking this will be even worse than 11-12 for the east, possibly even as bad as 06-07 when Mountain Creek was closed for most of January. I'm not concerned about Mountain Creek being open for Christmas because I'll be away that entire week anyway. I just hope they're open by the time I get back. Luckily this is the first season that I'll have my drivers license, so at least I'll be able to drive to a place that's actually open.
Hunter may be able to open next weekend, but I'm not sure if it's a guarantee. 40's during the day and barely in the 20's during some nights.
Steamboat seems to be doing fine with top to bottom skiing, a few inches of snow yesterday into today, and 3-6+ coming Sunday into Monday. Hopefully they'll get enough to open all the lifts by the time I'm there.
The west is cold enough that they aren't getting any r*in. Steamboat has been in the teens and 20's recently. Even if it's warmer, they may still get snow @ elevation. The lowest elevation of any non snowmaking lift at Steamboat is the Pony Express at 8'000 feet. The Sundown cam shows coverage that looks maybe a week or 2 from opening.
I'm not really concerned about Mountain Creek this early because I'll be away during the time it's most important that it be open.