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Winter Storm, Freezing Temps Coincide With Busy Long Weekend For Ski Resorts

January 19, 2019
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Winter Storm, Freezing Temps Coincide With Busy Long Weekend For Ski Resorts

Local skiers hitting the slopes this long holiday weekend could enjoy up to a foot or more of fresh powder if they’re willing to brave the coldest temperatures so far this winter.

Pennsylvania is preparing an aggressive statewide response in advance of what’s expected to be an intense winter storm, imposing speed restrictions and a ban on commercial traffic, including buses, on most interstates and the turnpike. Only Interstate 95 in the southeast part of the state is exempt from the commercial vehicle ban, which is in effect from noon today until noon Sunday. Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed a state of emergency declaration allowing for increased assistance with storm-related needs.

In Northeast Pennsylvania, meteorologists predict anywhere from 10 to 15 inches of snow beginning today about 3 p.m., AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said. The storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

will “not mess around” when it starts, he said, explaining snow will quickly become heavy. Some sleet could mix in with the snow, and Samuhel expects the storm to taper off Sunday morning. Temperatures will plummet into the single digits Sunday night into Monday with wind chills of up to 30 degrees below zero, he said. Monday’s high is predicted to be 9 degrees.

And while forecasted winter weather is expected to affect road conditions and test residents’ tolerance for cold, Montage Mountain Marketing Director Jeff Slivinski said conditions likely will excite, not discourage, area skiers. Montage generally sees a spike in ski traffic over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, and Slivinski doesn’t expect this weekend to be any different.

“We’ve got excellent conditions,” said Slivinski, noting Montage has been making snow for the past two weeks in addition to any new snow that falls the next few days. “We’re going to plan to be 100 percent open with all of our terrain as of (today). ... We’re really excited to have a lot of snow and coverage, and looking forward to getting more from the storm this weekend.”

Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Susquehanna County also expects a busy weekend given the holiday and what Gregg Confer, the resort’s vice president and general manager, called “super conditions” for skiing. The resort enjoyed a “very good day” of business Friday, which Confer said is an “indicator people are going to come out.”

Adverse road conditions can discourage would-be skiers, but Confer said those who make it to the mountain generally know how to prepare for the cold.

“With the new clothing, the new fabrics, the Gore-Tex, all the products that they make now, if they’re here they can definitely stay warm,” said Confer, who suggested skiers dress in layers, wear gloves and ski with a partner for a safer experience.

Ame Cameron, vice president of sales and marketing for Camelback Mountain Resort in Monroe County, also expressed an optimism about the weekend’s ski conditions. Outside of the single digits expected Monday, Cameron said temperatures today and Sunday should make for “fantastic skiing weather.” Even Monday’s cold shouldn’t stop skiers who dress appropriately, she said.

“If you are prepared, it really shouldn’t be an issue,” Cameron said, noting Camelback will have 35 trails open today. “What excites skiers the most is that fresh powder, and we have so many inches coming in.”

Frank Wilkes Lesnefsky, staff writer, contributed to this story. Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter

To facilitate snow removal from downtown Scranton streets, city parking garages will offer $5 parking from 3 p.m. today until 3 p.m. Sunday, and again from 3 p.m. Sunday to 3 p.m. Monday. Officials encourage downtown visitors and residents to take advantage of the reduced rates and use the garages.

Jermyn also implemented snow emergency parking beginning today at midnight. All vehicles must move to the odd side of streets, and a parking ban will be in place for the 400 to 600 blocks of Washington Avenue with parking limited to 15 minutes.

Forest City banned parking on the west side of Main Street from Saturday 11 p.m. through Monday at 8 a.m. to allow proper plowing and snow removal.

— STAFF REPORT

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