Oh Winter, Where Art Thou?

Unseasonably warm temps and little to no precipitation has forced some North American ski resorts to delay opening.

current-us-snow-cover

The Unites States has no damn snow.

According to NOAA, only a measly 1% of the lower 48 has anything resembling snow coverage, which is the least coverage in the last 13-years. The culprit for this paltry start to winter is a fall heat wave that surpassed hundreds of daily heat records across the U.S.

no-snow-skiing
Still no snow in the Midwest. Here’s Wisconsin’s Granite Peak

Although nighttime temperatures have dropped low enough to allow some production of artificial snow, a lack of skiable coverage has forced hills in Colorado to push back opening day.

Ski Resorts: Late Opening

Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts have yet to set a new date after determining insufficient snow depths for a planned November 11 opening. Copper Mountain plans to open on November 18, and winter park has pushed its opening day back to Nov. 23.

Front Range skiers luckily still have options, though. Loveland turned the lifts on today, and Arapaho Basin has been operating since October 21 for those who don’t mind riding 100 percent packed artificial snow on very limited terrain.

Arapahoe Basin, looking pretty thin at the end of October
Arapahoe Basin, looking pretty thin at the end of October

In California, Mammoth opened today as well, with a handful of runs on groomed, artificial snow. The mountain has had only about a foot so far this year.

Things are even worse farther east. Killington is the only resort spinning lifts among eastern resorts. Buck Hill in Minnesota will hold a rail jam this weekend — on a dry, artificial surface!

If there’s a silver lining in the U.S., it’s in the northern Rockies. Jackson Hole already has four feet of snow this season and opens on Thanksgiving.

Farther north still, Revelstoke, British Columbia already has EIGHT FEET, but doesn’t open until Dec. 3. Might be time to book your tickets!

Snow In The Forecast?

Although Old Man Winter has not yet fully shown his face and Mother Nature is still enjoying fall-mode, NOAA reports that a warm early November, though strange, is not completely atypical.

Technically, it is still autumn. The first western snowfall usually occurs in late October but steady winter storms characteristically descend during December. Although measurable and significant storms have yet to hit, help is on the way. Forecasters predict the Rockies will get hit by storms in the next two weeks.

powder skiing
Can we get some of this soon please? Photo – Dynafit

Moral of the story: don’t freak out, winter is coming. Let’s go skiing, friends.

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