Yawgoo Valley hoping warm fall does not lead to warm winter

EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s only early December, so seeing bare grass on the slopes at Yawgoo Valley isn’t that unusual.

But it’s quite a contrast to when Eyewitness News made a visit there last winter, when there were plenty of skiers making turns.

Yawgoo Valley’s Tracy Hartman hopes those snowy scenes return soon.

“If we can get started mid December, that’s great, and as long as people are interested in coming we will stay open,” Hartman said.

Mid December is actually around their normal opening time. At this point, they are not behind schedule despite the record breaking warmth this fall.

With an average temperature of 57.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 2017 actually just edged out 1946 for the warmest autumn on record by one tenth of a degree.

Meteorological fall ended at the end of November and now Hartman is hoping for a much colder meteorological winter.

“Most of the snow we make is at night, but if it does stay cold during the day, we can certainly run the guns all day long,” Hartman said.

The snow guns are most efficient at making snow when the temperature dips to 28 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, but it’s best if it stays that cold for much of the night.

“That way, we have a good amount of time to start running the guns and keep them going for an extended time,” Hartman said.

An extremely warm autumn does not necessarily mean a warm winter. For the top five warmest autumns, only two of the winters following were in the top five for warmth as well.