It appears as if winter may arrive in the Northeast after all.
The weather in November and the first few days of December has been unseasonably mild.
Central New England has seen warmth, warm rain, sunshine, and record temps up to now, including temperatures of almost 70 on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Northern New England has had some cold, at least enough to get some terrain open at some areas, but not enough to satisfy an apparent pent-up thirst for skiing and riding among the faithful.
Some areas in northern New England have opened and closed as cold make snowmaking possible, then warmth moved back in. It now appears as if sustained cold has arrived and will stay around for the foreseeable future.
Mike Hayward, snowmaking manager at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, said, "I've been doing this for 25 years, and this is a late start for us. It happens, but nobody likes it."
Hayward's 15 snowmakers fired up their guns as night fell and temps dropped Thursday Dec. 3 in a system test, then start making snow Friday night Dec. 4.
Okemo Mountain Resort plans to open Saturday.
"Winter will arrive any minute now," Okemo's Bonnie MacPherson said. "A cold front is moving in, and the next week looks like we'll have solid snowmaking temperatures, and be blasting away 24-7 to nail it.
"Friday (Dec. 4) looks good so we'll be making snow on four summit trails. Above 2,300-2,200 feet looks like prime snowmaking terrain, so we'll open the top of the mountain. At this point we just want to get open, even on four trails and even though it means downloading.
"With all the rain we got Wednesday (Dec. 2) the good news is our snowmaking reservoir is at full capacity," MacPherson said.
Conrad Klefos of Saddleback Maine said his area has pushed back opening from this weekend to next, but will use the week ahead to cover terrain with a solid base of manmade snow.
"We'll have good temps for snowmaking all week, steadily in the 20s and at night down in the teens, so it will feel more like winter," Klefos said.
"We could have opened this Sunday, but decided to do it right, lay down a good base, and groom it up nicely. We should have a good product when we open Dec. 11," he said.
Tom Horrocks of Killington said his weather service is forecasting temperatures in the teens overnight at the top of the mountain through midweek.
"That means snowmaking 24-7 at the top, and overnight snowmaking at the bottom," Horrocks said.