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Bombogenesis And The Polar Vortex

New England just got its first blizzard of 2018 and with it some serious snow and cold


Ritter Bopp Jan 5, 2018

Who called for a Nor'Easter?  2018 is off to a snowy start in New England. The first storm of the new year was actually an extratopical "bomb" cyclone that made land early Thursday morning and with it came plenty of snow. On its tail is a polar vortex, a swirl of cold Arctic air that's causing skiers to add a layer or two as temps drop below zero for the weekend. Heck even Florida got snow, showing us that you never know what the new year is going to bring.

Here in Maine at Sugarloaf Mountain the locals aren't afraid of a little frigid arctic air, because we're way too stoked about the snow that this Nor'Easter just delivered.  It's just another profitable day for Dermatone, Vaseline and Bag Balm as far as we're concerned. 

Winter Storm Grayson gathered Thursday morning, January 4, 2018. Image credit: NOAA via

So what are some steps you can take to avoid getting too cold and frozen to ski? For one, pack some hand warmers. Here's 5 things you can pack to withstand the frigid cold.


When you're hands get cold you can always stuff them in your jacket, but if your bound and determined to stay on the slopes in this weather all day you're going to need to keep those toes warm. Extra socks aren't always going to work, and every break is powder less skied, so toe and boot warmers are going to be your best friends in a cold polar vortex like this.


The run down the mountain was invigorating and you even worked up a little sweat. Well great, now prepare to be elevated in sky by a chairlift and exposed to sub-zero winds. Not so warm anymore eh? Making sure you have a good hood on your shell or jacket and a tight seal near your face and neck can make or break your ability to stay out in the cold.


Trust me, if you're skiing this weekend your ass is going to get cold on that lift. A pair of athletic shorts between your long-underwear and ski pants will make a world of difference whether you're riding a chairlift or just sitting in a circle passing around the.... trail map.


Frostbite is no joke and nobodies friend. Wear a face mask, check your ski pals' faces often, and seal up any exposed skin with some Dermatone. It works.


Granola bar, Snickers, Trail-mix; it's all fuel. Calories get burned up quick on cold days and just because you haven't been skiing long doesn't mean your body is working overtime to keep you at 98 degrees. Slip something into your pocket that isn't a plastic zip-locked PB&J so that you can power up on the lift. Your body will thank you later.

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