All Weather News

Western Ski Areas Struggle to Open Due to Warm, Dry Weather

For most, the unusual warmth across a huge swath of the country this November has been a pleasant extension of summer. For others, however, it means a significant loss of business.

Ski areas, specifically those in the western U.S., are struggling to open their doors due to a lack of snow and poor snowmaking conditions. On Monday, Copper Mountain ski resort in Colorado announced that they were pushing back their expected open date a week due to a lack of snow cover. Loveland Ski Area, which usually opens in mid-to-late October, won’t open until later this week. None of Utah’s ski resorts are scheduled to open until later this week at the earliest, though they tend to open later than Colorado’s resorts.

As of Monday, only 7.3% of Colorado had snow on the ground – compared to nearly 80% this time a year earlier. October and November signify the middle of autumn and gradually cooling conditions for most of the country, but for the inner-mountain West, it’s often a major snow stretch. That’s part of the problem for this portion of the country, where significantly warmer than average temperatures and low precipitation has been stingily consistent all season long.

Denver, Colorado hasn’t seen any measurable snowfall so far this season, well past its typical first snow date of October 19th, and there’s nothing indicating those first flakes will fly anytime soon.


Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on the continued mid-autumn warmth and its wide-ranging impacts.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

Cover photo: Courtesy Loveland Ski Area

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