Melt­ing win­ters

Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE -

Af­ter an un­usu­ally frosty au­tumn in Rap­pa­han­nock County, much of De­cem­ber through the first third of Jan­uary was a dud when it comes to Old Man Win­ter. A re­cent fly­over of Vir­ginia and West Vir­ginia re­vealed bar­ren moun­tains, save the man-made snow at lo­cal ski re­sorts like Mas­sanut­ten.

Which begs the ques­tion: is cli­mate change melt­ing mid-At­lantic ski­ing?

If you like to ski, ad­vises the Part­ner­ship for Re­spon­si­ble Growth, get out there and en­joy it while you can be­cause warmer weather is short­en­ing the ski sea­sons: “Within the next 20 years, the num­ber of days at or below freez­ing in some of the most pop­u­lar ski towns in the United States will de­cline by weeks or even a month.”

Pow­der Mag­a­zine agrees: “Cli­mate change will scrape weeks off both sides of the sea­son at ski re­sorts from Cal­i­for­nia to Maine.”

At the cur­rent rate of global warm­ing, it is pre­dicted that by 2040 nu­mer­ous ski re­sorts up and down the east coast will go out of busi­ness.

Here at home, where it’s fi­nally got­ten colder this late week and mea­sur­able snow is in the fore­cast, ski ar­eas are rush­ing to fine­tune their snow­mak­ing skills and ca­pac­ity, but scant white stuff can be pro­duced with fewer win­dows of ex­tended freez­ing tem­per­a­tures.

BY JOHN MC­CASLIN

Masanut­ten ski Re­sort, with Shenan­doah Na­tional Park in the back­ground, hopes win­ter ar­rives soon.

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