Changes to end October 2017

October has been mild and dry. Not much is expected to change the next several days with warm temperature anomalies expected to stretch across much of Canada and the lower 48 states for the next week:

By the middle of next week, the game starts to change as a strong storm begins to develop over the eastern United States, probably due to relaxing of the abnormally strong EPO+ pattern that has held over Alaska for the past several weeks:

You can even see blocking high pressure over Greenland and offshore from Nova Scotia. At the very least, this set-up would bring a needed soaking rain to our area. The truly interesting aspect for us would be the continental Polar air mass draining into the storm system that may result in a changeover to snow later October 25th into the 26th.

For an event that is about a week away, it’s way too early to talk about specific snow accumulation forecasts. But this may be the first meaningful snow opportunity for the Adirondacks (outside the High Peaks) that we’ve had for the young 2017-18 season.

Looking Ahead into November

Thankfully, it appears as though the Alaskan Assassin Polar Vortex should completely break down in November and a new Polar Vortex would assume a more typical position near Ellesmere Island by mid-month:

The strong Pacific Jet would still be present, but suppressed further south. The would allow more numerous shots of continental Polar air (cP) and opportunities for snow as November presses on.

That being said, I don’t envision November 2017 as an especially cold month with the continuing dearth of truly cold air over the northern hemisphere as per the CFSv2 monthly outlook:

But hey…when you’re knocked flat on your back, you need to get up and crawl before you can walk. Then you can think about running. We’ve started in a really bad spot in October. If November actually ends up being a step in the right direction, we can have some hope for another step in the right direction for December. Read More…

What I am not liking about October!

We gradually switched from a cool, rainy spring and early-summer into a warmer, drier late-summer and early autumn. In and of itself, that wasn’t a big deal in September.

But now that we are getting deep into October, we need to step back and take a look at the big picture. At this stage of the game, it’s a near certainty that October 2017 will end up being a warm month.

This GEFS ensemble panel for October 19-24 is particularly damning if you’re looking for cold weather around here:

Having a strong Polar Vortex over Alaska is the KISS OF DEATH if you’re gunning for snow and cold here in ilsnow land or almost anywhere in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. If you have followed me for a while, you know this setup as the Alaskan Assassin! There is simply no way for the cold air to penetrate into the eastern United States in the face of that brutally strong Pacific Jet.

Taking a look further back, I’m impressed with the lack of truly cold air that we’ll find over the northern hemisphere October 19-24:

Aside from northeastern Siberia into Alaska and northwestern Canada, there won’t be any especially cold air anywhere!

The Winter Outlook? Or not…

Instead of tapping into some voodoo analogues and attempting a useless 3-5 month outlook into how this winter may turn out, I’ll state the painfully obvious: The northern hemisphere has to cool down a lot & the strong Polar Vortex over Alaska needs to break down before we can start thinking about winter. 

Barring some unforeseen seismic shift over the next 1-2 months, it’s logical to assume that cold and snow will be tough to come by through the remainder of meteorological autumn and perhaps well into December.

At this point nearing mid-October, I can’t tell you what will happen as the winter wears on. Looking back at my previous winter outlooks over the past several years, I can’t say that I’ve developed a demonstrative, useful skill at issuing consistently accurate seasonal outlooks.

So, I am not issuing a winter outlook. My approach will be to start with where the weather is now, then try to hit 2-3 week trends.

Wish I had better news right now, but I always call it the way I see it.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce. Speculator has long been one of my favorite places to ride! There are lots of options, whether you want to ride around Speculator for the day, or launch a 250 mile mega-miler. Speculator is loaded with businesses eager to cater to snowmobilers. Look them up at the Speculator Chamber and grab a copy of their snowmobile trail map. Be sure to tell them that Darrin @ sent you.

NYSSA Safe Trails Education Program (STEP) Class


In an effort to help NYSSA Member clubs better manage risks as they maintain snowmobile trails, the NYSSA Board of Directors approved a Risk Management Plan called the Safe Trails Education Program (STEP) back in 2009.  STEP is designed to provide education to club representatives on issues arising from legal wordings in New York State snowmobile law, local sponsor agreements, and NYS OPRHP trail grant applications. Trail signage guidelines and groomer operator safety guidelines are the current two main components of the NYSSA STEP plan.



The education of the OPRHP snowmobile trail signing guideline handbook can serve to reduce risks facing snowmobile clubs in maintaining and signing their trails by providing uniform, consistent, safe trail signage all across the state. A goal of all clubs should be to provide the most enjoyable riding experience to everyone out enjoying the fruits of the clubs’ volunteers. Having uniformity all across the state helps meet that goal.

DRAG of Speculator, Inc. Snowmobile Club has set up a NYSSA Safe Trails Education Program (STEP) class for Saturday, October 14, 2017, from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Zeiser’s in Speculator, NY.  This class is being presented by James Rolf, NYSSA Trails Coordinator.  If you are interested in attending, please call Mike “BIG Mike” Walenczyk at 914-523-5468 or send him email at address:  and he’ll make sure you are on the list.

For the ilsnow nation,



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