By Sean Streicher

FAIRFIELD, Pa. (WJZ) — Maryland got a little snow this week but not enough to really enjoy the fun that comes along with a snow day.

Still, some nearby ski resorts were able to open and it’s all thanks to snowmaking.

Liberty Mountain received six inches of natural snow, nowhere near what you would need to open a ski resort, but science and technology came to the rescue.

It’s an essential operation at ski resorts around the world, including Liberty Mountain in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

“It’s no secret southern Pennsylvania, we’re not always getting a lot of snow dumped on us from Mother Nature so snowmaking ourselves is really important,” said Matt Deal with Liberty Mountain.

But it’s not as simple as spraying water into the air.

“You would think 32 degrees, they can make the snow fly but there’s actually a lot more that goes into it,” Deal said.

When making snow, Deal said resorts have to look at a measurement known as “wet bulb” which takes into consideration the air temperature and humidity, adding 28 degrees is the ideal temperature to make snow.

And when these conditions are ideal, they can make it snow.

“When we can be at maximum capacity, we can make about 1,800 tons of snow an hour,” he said.

And its snow tends to be more durable, allowing them to pile it up for warmer temperatures.

“We try to stockpile our snow when we can make it and push it around to the areas as we need to,” Deal said.

It’s a lot of work that’s appreciated when the snow isn’t falling on its own.

As long as conditions cooperate, they hope to make enough snow so they can stay open until April.

Sean Streicher


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