Resorts doubling last year’s snowfall to date |

Resorts doubling last year’s snowfall to date

Loveland Ski Area/David Gidley

Snowfall through the end of January at Loveland Ski Area and Copper Mountain is nearly double that of last year.

Loveland saw 268 inches of snow as of Feb. 3, spokesman John Sellers said, compared to 136 inches at the same time last year. And David Roth at Copper said 197 inches of snow has fallen at the mountain through January, 48 percent above the 35-year historical average and 126 percent above last year’s snow total.

Copper received an additional 23 inches and Loveland saw 32 inches of new snow fall in the latest storm.

“This year is the sixth snowiest year on record,” Roth said. The snowiest year was in 1983-84, with 260 inches of snow as of the end of January. The leanest year on record was 1991-92, which had 71 inches so far, following a “dismal” 9 inches that December.

To break the 35-year record, Copper needs about 50 more inches – and on average, February through April brings 137 inches. However, Roth said the five years with more snow averaged 140 inches in the three months.

“So, it’s not a guarantee it means more snow in the future, but that’s not stopping all of Copper’s fans to continue to do their snow dances,” Roth said.

Roth said the snow total so far this year is the best in the past five years, and the second best in the past 14 years.

“What really helped this seasons was November (and) December, which came in at 150 percent of the 35-year average,” he said, adding that November at Copper was 55 percent above the measured average, December was 53 percent above average and January was at 44 percent above average.

Loveland has not beaten its best snow season, the 1995-96 year, but the area is ahead of its second-best season in 2002-03.

“In 2002-03, we had a huge spring blizzard so we would need some strong snow to get there,” Sellers said. “We are in the running for one of the top snowiest seasons on record.”

Keystone Resort has surpassed its 10-year total season average of 208 inches, with 216 inches of snow fallen to date.

At nearby Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, 219 inches of snow has fallen to date, which is more than double last year’s amounts to date. But it isn’t hitting any records yet – other than opening terrain like the East Wall earlier than in years past. The 10-year season average is 350 inches per season.

Breckenridge Ski Resort has had 329 inches of snow fall so far this season, with 32 inches so far in February – or, 61 percent above average for the month. Snowfall to date is already more than last season’s total, which was 246 inches, and the season average of about 300 inches or 25 feet. The base is at 90 inches, or 41 percent above average.

“We have our two snowiest months ahead, March and April,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kristen Petitt said. “I’d say we are teed up perfectly to break the season snowfall average, if not more.”

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