Early Snodeo Outlook: Update 11/28/16

As a reminder, snowmobiling season starts after sundown Sunday, December 4th for Hamilton and northern Herkimer Counties at the conclusion of big game hunting season. So the first official day is Monday, December 5th.

I know people are wondering what the conditions are going to be like for Opening Day and for Snodeo Weekend December 9-11.

Since the rain on Tuesday and Wednesday is likely to wipe out much of the snow we have left on the ground, we’ll have to build up the base to ride Moose River Plains.

My video goes over what might happen the next couple of weeks. It may be a bumpy road, but I think we’ve got a decent chance for ride-able snow by Snodeo Weekend:

Early Snodeo Outlook, ilsnow.com storm center 11/28/16

Also, check out my “FINAL” Winter 2016-17 Outlook.

For the ilsnow nation,


“Final” Winter 2016-17 Outlook

With the mainly mild and quiet autumn we’ve had until this week, it’s natural to wonder if that will carry into the winter.

The dominant EPO+ weather pattern (persistent low pressures near Alaska) has maintained a strong zonal flow across North America, keeping the cold air locked up over Siberia.

I’m fond of saying “The snow pack doesn’t lie.” The gross lack of snow cover in southern Canada before this week’s snow event shows that most of the cold has been locked up over Siberia:


Notwithstanding the dominating EPO+ pattern we’ve had through much of autumn, I do believe there is hope we’ll bang out a decent winter here…certainly when you compare it to last winter. I think the secret sauce would have to involve a breakdown of the EPO+.

Let’s look at some key factors!

Siberian Snow Pack:


Groundbreaking study by Dr. Judah Cohen suggests a strong correlation between the spread of Siberian snow pack into Eurasia in October and how cold (and by implication, snowy) winter for the eastern United States.

The above table shows that October 2016 ranked #4 since 1968. That’s pretty impressive. Autumn snow cover spread was pretty impressive last year as well. But I think we can throw last year out the window the Super El Niño throwing everything out of whack, which leaves us with:

  • #1: October 1976. This led into the legendary winter of 1976-77. I’m too young to remember that winter, so I’ll have to let some of the “old timers” tell you about that one. 😉
  • #2: October 2014. The winter of 2014-15 wasn’t particularly notable for huge snowfall. But it was brutally cold at times, in which February 2015 was the coldest recorded month of all time for Indian Lake, for which records date back well over 100 years.
  • #3: October 2002. The winter of 2002-03 was probably the best one from wire-to-wire that we’ve had in the last 20 years, certainly the best winter I’ve seen since running ilsnow.com: Consistent cold from start to finish and significant snows. Just when we thought we were done, we got clobbered with snow in April as well!

So, I think we have some good company… Read More…

Wait! Snowmobiling Season Not Underway Yet: Update 11/21/16

Our early season snowstorm is winding down, with pretty much the results I had expected. Indian Lake got about 6-8 inches of snow. Amounts increased to a foot or more across Moose River Plains into the Western Adirondacks, thence upwards of 18 to 2+ feet in the northwestern Adirondacks.

This modeled snow depth chart isn’t perfect, but it does show the distribution reasonably well:


All that white gold is nice to see, but keep in mind that temperatures were in the 60s for two days before we got the snow Sunday and Monday. There is plenty of slush and mud under that new snow.


Snowmobiling season does not start until after sundown Sunday, December 4 at the conclusion of big game hunting season for Hamilton and Northern Herkimer counties. Late bow hunting season or late bow hunting seasons does not apply to ilsnow land.

In general, snowmobiling season does not start until sundown Tuesday, December 20 in the Southern Zone.

You can click the map to get more details on when hunting season closes for your area of interest:


For certainty and piece of mind, contact your local snowmobile club to find out when their trails open.

Let the hunters have their season and keep the landowners happy with us. Riding snowmobile trails before open disrespects the landowner and could make him angry enough to permanently close his property to snowmobiling!

If you want to rip off a lawn jockey ride on your own land, or you have a buddy that will let you have a little fun on his property…that’s OK. But stay off the snowmobile trails for now.

I know it has been a very long off-season, but let’s be patient for a few more weeks…no matter how much snow we may get.

For the ilsnow nation,



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