La nina likely puts snow on hold until Christmas
The lack of precipitation in Glenwood Springs and warmer temperatures might seem strange to locals or visitors given the time of year. The culprit is la nina — a scientific term that describes the changed direction of weather systems. Tom Renwick from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction said an el nino, the opposite of a la nina, is typically better for Glenwood Springs snow-wise.
“The la nina tends to for Colorado … get more systems coming in from the north and northwest. When that occurs that favors the northern mountains, northern valleys, and a little bit of the central valley,” Renwick said.
Renwick also said it’s important to pay attention to weather conditions when traveling.
“For people that are traveling…if you are going somewhere where there’s a possibility to have snow or ice on the roads just be prepared. Even though it doesn’t look so bad now there’s always that chance,” Renwick said.
Glenwood Springs hasn’t seen snow on the ground as of late, but Troy Hawks, the Sunlight Mountain Marketing and Sales Director, wrote in an email that there has been about two feet of snow up there since Nov. 1, but due to the warm temperatures most of it melted.
“…We do have natural snow on the mountain with more inches on the north facing terrain and glades,” Hawks wrote.
Currently, Sunlight plans to open at 9 a.m. on Dec. 11. Until then, the crew members will continue making snow so skiers and boarders will have more options when they come to visit.
“We had a nice stretch of snowmaking weather this past week that will help us get terrain from Tercero, our lower lift, down open by next Friday. We will need a few good snow storms to get more terrain open,” Hawks wrote.
The resort will be requiring visitors to wear masks on the chairlift and in the lodge where there will be a limited capacity. Hawks wrote that they plan to ask people to physically distance from each other and stay home if they’re feeling sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.
About two weeks after the mountain opens Glenwood Springs residents can look forward to celebrating what is likely to be a “White Christmas,” Renwick said.
“It’s looking like the historical probability…(is a) 50-75% chance (of a White Christmas).”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Glenwood Springs River Commission highlights what to expect moving forward from 2020’s Grizzly Creek Fire
With the 20 worst wildfires in Colorado’s history all occurring since 2002 — including 2020’s Grizzly Creek Fire — officials and experts have begun addressing what the Roaring Fork Valley should anticipate in relation to…