The side effects of uncharacteristically warm winter weather are being felt across New Brunswick.
Morning temperatures in Fredericton on Thursday were higher than in Hollywood, according to Environment Canada, as public ice rinks across the city looked more like slush pools.
In Sussex, the mild weather and rain put a damper on ski season as Poley Mountain resort was shut down tight.
“On our mountain here we have 80 per cent of snow-making, but the other trails need natural snow and we haven’t been there yet,” said Bill Anderson, the resort’s general manager.
The ski hill has only been able to open about half of its 33 runs due to a lack of natural snow this winter.
“January was really strong even though we didn’t have any snow because we were able to make some. But not as much as we wanted,” Anderson said.
He said the lack of snow has also put the brakes on plans to open new snowshoeing trails this season.
“We don’t need a lot of snow, we’d just like to have some natural snow because the trail that we are going to snowshoe on is not going be one that we can make snow on,” he said.
John McNair, who runs a ski and outdoor adventure shop in Sussex, said the weather situation is “not ideal”, but it could be worse.
Despite the milder winter, he said sales have been pretty good and he has products other than skis and snowshoes to fall back on.
“People are even buying fat bikes where there is not much snow and are out trail riding,” he said.
The common sentiment among outdoor enthusiasts and retailers, however, is that more snow is needed now — and the forecast suggests they might get their wish.
“We are looking for anywhere from 20 to 25 centimetres of snow tomorrow, which is perfect heading into the weekend,” Anderson said.
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