Statewide snowpack is 100% of average, the Southwest basins are lagging behind at 81%



Click on the thumbnail graphics to the right for the snowpack and U.S. Drought Monitor.

Monarch and Ski Cooper are delaying their opening due to a lack of snow. Here’s a report from R. Scott Rappold writing for The Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

Ski Cooper, a family-oriented ski hill near Leadville, won’t open, and there is doubt Monarch Mountain will meet its planned Wednesday opening. “It’s not very likely for Wednesday,” said Monarch marketing manager Greg Ralph. “Maybe later in the week, maybe Saturday and Sunday, but who knows?” While the area has a “solid 12-inch base,” too many early-season snowstorms have been accompanied by high winds. “It took more snow away than it left behind,” Ralph said of a recent storm.

The weekend storm that brought a few inches of snow to some Colorado ski areas delivered just a trace to Monarch. Though it was snowing lightly at the ski area Monday, only 1 to 4 inches were expected, and Ralph said at least a foot is needed to open Wednesday.

Ski Cooper has received 22 inches of snow, and warm days between storms have melted some of what has fallen, said employee Becca Brandau. So the ski area won’t open on Thanksgiving as planned. Managers hope to open Ski Cooper on weekends by Dec. 2, “snow permitting.”[…]

Meteorologists have predicted that a La Niña weather pattern, a cooling of the Pacific Ocean that last winter brought record snowfall to Colorado, will mean a snowy winter for Colorado’s central and northern mountains. Boulder meteorologist Joel Gratz, who runs ski-oriented weather website, said the slow start to the season doesn’t change that prediction, though the La Niña is two-thirds as strong as last year.

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