Time for a snowdance?
As la nina continues its dry pattern, expert skiers hope for more snow soon at Sunlight
December 2020 was particularly dry in terms of precipitation for the Roaring Fork Valley.
However, this weekend’s forecast is anticipating a storm system coming towards the area that has a glimmer of hope for the possibility of snow accumulation. Megan Stackhouse, a meteorologist at the National Weather Society in Grand Junction said while there is a chance for snow, it all depends on how the system moves and there’s just as much of a chance that Glenwood Springs locals will only see rain instead of sought after snow.
“(For Glenwood) we see some showers increase over the weekend with rain mixed in with snow at times for the area…either way it’s looking like things should shut down by Sunday night or Monday morning,” Stackhouse said.
Sunlight Mountain is bearing the effects of such a dry winter. Troy Hawks, Marketing and Sales Director at Sunlight, said more snow is needed to open up the more challenging runs for advanced skiers — but the resort continues to see good numbers this season.
“We’re seeing good visitation regionally and even out of state as well…our most advanced terrain, mostly over there on East Ridge usually takes a few storms to fill up enough,” Hawks said.
While the usual wide variety of runs has not been available to skiers this season, Hawks said the resort is doing just as well as they were last year when all runs were open. For expert skiers who are waiting for their moment this season, Hawks said him and the resort staff are right there with them.
“We’re really hopeful for a nice spring, we’re not quite at the midpoint of our season yet but we’re certainly hoping for a stronger second half…if they got their secret snow dances now would be the time to pull those out of the closets,” Hawks said.
There is no denying the dryness of this winter, but Stackhouse said for a la nina year this kind of weather is the norm.
“This is pretty usual for the weather pattern we’re in…the Northern mountains tend to be favored with any systems that we get (and that’s) normal for (the) la nina pattern,” Stackhouse said.
Stackhouse also said as of now it looks like another weather system may be coming to Glenwood early next week. Looking even further ahead, the three month forecast still shows lower precipitation than normal for Glenwood Springs.
“We go through these patterns and sometimes we get it and sometimes we don’t. It’s all going to come down to what Mother Nature wants to do.”
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