Warm October wreaks havoc on snowmaking, bumps opening day at Keystone to Nov. 11
The Denver Post
October has been one of the warmest on record in Denver and temperatures around the state over the past several weeks have felt more appropriate for outdoor lounging than snow sports.
So as November begins with the promise of more above-average heat in the forecast, should Colorado’s skiers and snowboarders worry?
“It’s not time to panic just yet,” said Joel Gratz, founding meteorologist of OpenSnow, a website that tracks conditions on the slopes. “Even though we have very little snow, there’s not a very strong correlation with how the ski conditions will be toward the end of December.”
However, Gratz said, anyone looking to make early-season turns might need to be patient because he predicts possible delayed opening days and limited coverage on open slopes. He’s already been proven right: While Arapahoe Basin kicked off skiing and snowboarding in Colorado and North America on Oct. 21, other areas are waiting for the weather to start cooperating.
Wolf Creek Ski Area in southwest Colorado says it won’t open as planned this Friday. Keystone Resort — also slated to open on Friday — announced on Thursday it will shoot for a Nov. 11 opening, the same as Breckenridge Resort and Copper Mountain. Those two are still scheduled to open on time.
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“We’re going to cool down a little bit during the middle of (this) week, so there might be a little more high elevation snowmaking,” Gratz said Monday. “But I don’t see super cold weather coming and I don’t see around-the-clock snowmaking this week and potentially not the next week as well.”
Loveland Ski Area, which typically opens in mid-October, still had no set opening day as of Monday morning.
“We’re just waiting on Mother Nature to bring those cold temps back,” said John Sellers, Loveland’s marketing director.
For more, read the complete article from The Denver Post.
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