National Weather Service Winter Forecast (’11-12)

The National Weather Service and the NOAA have issued their annual winter outlook. While far from definitive, maps and analysis reflect the best insight long-term models can offer. Forecast excerpts follow.

NWS NOAA Winter Temperature Outlook.

For the second year in a row, La Niña will influence winter weather patterns across the country, but as usual, it’s not the only climate factor at play. The wild card is the less predictable Arctic Oscillation that could produce dramatic temperature swings this winter.

NOAA expects La Niña, which returned in August, to strengthen and continue through the upcoming winter. It’s associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and influences weather throughout the world.

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North Creek Ski Bowl Trail Map

While doing our annual check of all of our ski links, we noticed that the Gore Mountain trail map has been updated to include the glades added to the North Creek Ski Bowl this off-season.

North Creek Ski Bowl trail map.

The obvious new additions to the map are the tree runs on skier’s left: the Hudson and Ski Bowl Glades. Two years ago, I walked the Hudson Chair liftline when it was being installed. There are some wide-open hardwood stands on that side, that have the potential to be as exciting the rest of the North Creek Ski Bowl terrain.

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The Mountains Less Traveled: Québec Ski Safari

As much as I love the mountains of New York State, getting outta Dodge is also an important part of my ski season. October is the month where I stop dreaming and start making concrete plans for destination trips.

View from Le Massif.

For me, it’s all about the process — first, committing to specific dates and deciding on the region or mountain I’d like to ski. Then comes the hard part, asking myself what I want from that fantasy week. Stay in one place or travel around? Dirtbag or detonate my savings? Visit something truly different or stick with the familiar?

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