October 23, 2021

Ski resorts, clubs just waiting on cold and snow

Kevin Conlon/city editor

Greek Peak Mountain Resort employees Brian Baisley, left, and Ian Scaglione replace parts of the seatbacks of a ski lift Wednesday afternoon. The resort is waiting for weather good for snow-making so it can open hills to customers. Drew Broderick, vice president of sales and marketing for the Virgil resort, said they hope to make snow by this weekend.

Ski resorts and snowmobile clubs are keeping their fingers crossed that they’ll see snow or at least some cold temperatures in the near future. But the National Weather Service said that might not be the case any time soon.

“We’re all ready to go,” Peter Harris, owner and operator of Song and Lab mountains ski centers, said Wednesday. But it hasn’t been cold enough to make snow, and Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.

Cortland County has had a couple of colder days this week compared to the 40 to 60 degree weather people have seen the last few weeks, but Mike Kistner, a lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Binghamton, said that may not last much longer.

The best chance for cold temperatures will be January or February, but even then it’s still not that predictable, he said.

“It’s tough to say how the pattern will set up in that time-frame,” Kistner said.

There needs to be a “deep trough of cold air out of Canada that sits over us for a couple of weeks,” to get the cold temperatures, Kistner said.

But so far nothing like that is appearing on the weather radar.

Without that cold air, ski resorts can’t get their snow guns going. Harris said it has to be 25 degrees or colder.

Drew Broderick, the vice president of sales and marketing for Greek Peak, said the ski resort plans to make snow this weekend — if the weather cooperates.

Kistner said the Weather Service has been keeping an eye on a storm moving this way over the weekend but that it may be trending more eastward and away from the Central New York area.

“After that, really it doesn’t look like anything significant through the first half of December,” Kistner said.

Broderick said they need at least one foot of natural snow to groom one inch of snow on the trails.

Greg Lockwood, the president of the Truxton Snowmobile Club, said he’s still holding out hope for snow since the snowmobile season doesn’t begin until sundown Dec. 22 — the end of the big game hunting season.

The club oversees 86 miles of trails and has around 150 members. Until then, he said the clubs have just been preparing trails and doing maintenance on bridges and equipment.

“The weather forecast didn’t sound good, but it depends on how cold it gets,” Lockwood said.