Conditions in Western North America seem to be fluctuating dramatically with some big snowfalls but also high humidity and rain at times.
As a result whilst some resorts are still opening earlier than expected due to the big snowfalls, others, sometimes in the same state, are delaying opening and in at least one case, has announced it is closing again after opening for the season.
The biggest name casualty if the warm temperatures was Snowbird in Utah which opened last Wednesday for the US Thanksgiving Holiday but was forced to close again by Saturday. An online statement said,
“While a strong effort was made from our operations team, unseasonably warm weather has forced a “Delay of Game” and put a hold on our skiing/riding operations. Our snowmaking crews are standing by and we will resume winter operations as soon as cold-weather returns.”
In Montana Bridger Bowl Ski Area, which had previously announced plans to open a fortnight ahead of schedule, had to abandon their hoped for early opening after temperatures moved above 10C (50F).
Some other towns and resorts in the state saw record high temperatures.
It is expected to get cooler and head back towards seasonal norms through this week and further west forecasts of up to 90cm (three feet) of snow are currently in place for ski areas like Mt Baker in Washington State and Whistler in BC.
The news from Utah and Montana is the latest of a mixed-weather autumn in North america which has seen largely good conditions and some huge snowfalls but also resorts struggling with unseasonably warm temperatures at times in some places.
(Images by Matt Crawley at Snowbird on opening day 22 November, 2017)