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Snowstorm makes ski areas happy; deep freeze to follow

Union Leader Correspondent

December 13. 2017 12:10AM
A convoy of snowplows clear snow on Interstate 293 North in Manchester on Tuesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

CONWAY — New Hampshire’s most recent snowfall is making ski area operators smile, said Karolyn Castaldo, communications and marketing manager of Ski NH, which represents 34 alpine and cross country resorts.

Although only the true “die hards” were on the slopes Tuesday, Castaldo said the snowfall would make for great conditions later in the week and over the weekend.

“We’re still getting reports from our ski areas, but several have already reported that they received five inches of snow,” Castaldo said Tuesday afternoon.

At 5 p.m., the Department of Transportation’s Road Weather Information System was reporting precipitation of .57 inches per hour on Interstate 93 in Woodstock and of 1.22 inches on Route 112 at Lost River Gorge, also in Woodstock.

The DOT’s chief spokesman said this storm was a challenge due to the varied driving surfaces that residents faced.

“The storm presented a range of winter conditions statewide, from all snow in central and northern New Hampshire to freezing rain, sleet and snow in southern sections,” said Bill Boynton, DOT’s public information officer. “In some areas, NHDOT plow crews were out early this morning treating roads, plowed for several hours, then made repeated salt runs as temperatures dropped into the evening hours.”

Farther south, DOT was reporting 1.2 inches per hour on I-93 in Sanbornton.

In southeastern sections, where warmer temperatures meant more rain or freezing rain than snow, the precipitation decreased to one-tenth of an inch or less in Derry, Dover, Manchester and Salem.

The DOT issued travel advisories and reduced speeds to 45 mph on Interstate 93 north of Manchester, on I-89, and on both the Spaulding and Everett Turnpikes.

By 7 p.m., the most snowfall was reported in Sutton and Plymouth that each got 8 inches. There were six inches of snow reported in North Conway and Meredith with Concord getting just over three inches by nightfall.

The National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said snow totals could be up to 10 inches in some spots by the end of the storm.

The storm led to many school closures, but few accidents, public officials said.

Despite being responsible for covering 39 percent of the state’s total area, including all of Coos and Grafton Counties, and in those counties, some of the most challenging roads, such as the Franconia Notch Parkway, State Police Troop F in Twin Mountain was relatively quiet on Tuesday, said Lt. Gary Prince.

As of 1 p.m., Prince said Troop F had responded to three vehicles off the road that required a tow-truck as well as four motor vehicle crashes.

Forecasters are calling for a cold, windy day today, with highs reaching only the mid-20s and a low of 10 degrees tonight.

Weather officials were warning that winds would gust up to 40 miles per hour today.

Utility officials said this could lead to sporadic, power outages across the state.

Weather Conway

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