A month to go until the target date for opening of the winter season up and down the East Coast and already snow has fallen several times including a nor'easter that dropped more than a foot on the higher elevations of the Green Mountains.

Nor'easters are ocean-driven storms that move up the coast, with winds that swirl in a counter-clockwise fashion to pick up moisture over the water and drop it inland as either heavy rain or, when the temperatures are cold enough over land, as heavy snow.

Killington in Central Vermont reported 14 inches atop Killington Peak, 4,241 feet above sea level.

Tom Horrocks of Killington said, "Not only does the fresh snow look terrific against the waning fall foliage background, but a big benefit of this early-season storm is the colder temperatures that will drop the water temperature in our snowmaking ponds, so when we do start snowmaking production, our system will be able to operate as efficient as possible."

Bolton Valley, with a summit about 1,000 feet lower than Killington, also reported several inches of snow.

Stratton also had a coating on its trails.

Jon Lundin reported about 3 inches of snow on Whiteface and Lake Placid: "Nothing quite says skiing like a mid-October snowfall on Whiteface mountain and the Memorial Highway."

Resort operators like October snow storms because they drive enthusiasm for the season ahead. It's a time to watch the weather forecasts, knowing that winter's coming.

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