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Vacationing in the High Peaks and the nearby Champlain Valley? Here's weather information for activity plans and Winter Driving Safety. Where it comes from. What it is today and for the next few days. CLICK & GO! (On this page.) About Champlain Valley moderate weather. About colder Mountain weather. Some things about our weather that you can count on whenever you visit Fourpeaks. More website links to local weather information on the Internet. Important stuff about Driving in Snow and Ice.
CAUTION! Before you CLICK & GO . . .
Champlain Valley moderate weather.
The top link ("Fourpeaks Weather") will get you the weather report for Plattsburgh NY and Burlington VT, both on Lake Champlain 35 miles away to the north of us. Here on the East branch of the AuSable River, Fourpeaks enjoys the moderating influence of that great inland sea that runs north-south from the Canadian border halfway down New York State. Our weather is milder and sunnier than the surrounding High Peaks. We don't get as much snow. The roads are generally clear with few road closing even during the worst winter weather.
Colder Mountain weather patterns.
This link ("High Peaks Weather") will get you the weather report for Saranac Lake NY, 27 miles inland from us, beyond Whiteface Mountain (6 miles) and Lake Placid (17 miles). At higher elevations and too far away to experience the moderating influence of Lake Champlain, weather in the nearby Lake Placid area is colder with considerably more snowfall in winter. Roads can be hazardous in Winter, expecially through the notches that lead to Lake Placid (Cascade Notch--Route 73 and Wilmington Notch--Route 86), and they may be closed for severe snow and ice conditions.
Driving in Snow and Ice
The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don't go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared (get tips for winterizing your car here), and that you know how to handle road conditions. It's helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you're familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner's manual for tips specific to your vehicle.
Driving safely on icy roads. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
Keep your lights and windshield clean.
Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
Maintain steady engine speed over icy spots, or any portion of the road where traction may be reduced (ice, snow, mud). Do not accelerate!
Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
If your rear wheels skid...
Take your foot off the accelerator.
Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they're sliding right, steer right.
If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse -- this is normal.
If your front wheels skid...
Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don't try to steer immediately.
As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in "drive" or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.
If you get stuck...
Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner's manual first -- it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.
Sources: National Safety Council, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Washington State Government Information & Services
There are three sure things about Fourpeaks weather:
(1) It's warmer in Summer than in Winter. That's the general rule. But occasionally not so. We take our jackets off for days on end during the annual January thaw. Sometimes the brooks run full. Long stretches of Spring and Fall are warm and sunny. And Summer nights can be downright chilly!
(2) There is no rainy season here. There are both wet and dry spells in every season. To learn if rain is possible, check the local short term forecast. Rain may be predicted as a percentage probability. But remember--the mountains make uneven patterns. It can be raining in Keene (10 miles away) or AuSable Forks (6 miles) and dry as a bone here at Fourpeaks in Jay.
(3) Fourpeaks four beautiful mountains, meadows and woods feel good in all weather--refreshing to the spirit and physically invigorating after even a moderate walk. Take a poncho if it threatens rain (or ask us--we have lots of spares to loan) and an extra sweater for higher elevations or if the sun goes in.
And feel free to ask us about the weather. We'll give you our personal prognostications. [CLICK HERE for Your Adirondack Guide phone/email contact information.]
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