El Nino should kick up snow | VailDaily.com

El Nino should kick up snow

Kira Horvath/Vail DailyBeaver Creek opened on Wednesday with four lifts, 320 acres and 19 trails. Most skiers and boarders characterized conditions as typical for early season while expressing hope that new snow will fall soon. El Nino may make that happen, one forecaster says.

BOULDER, Colo. – A climate researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the snow-inducing El Nino of recent months should continue or strengthen.Klaus Wolter’s updated forecast, released this week, is good news for Colorado ski resorts, some of which have snow bases of barely a foot.

Wolter’s forecast says moisture should return to the region in the next couple of weeks, though it may not be as substantial as the snows that fell in September and October.A dry November left the statewide snowpack at 98 percent of average as of Friday.Vail reported an 11-inch base after opening last week with 14. Aspen Mountain had 13 inches. Wolf Creek, in the San Juans in the southwest, led with 28 inches.

Overnight lows had been in the upper 20s, which is warmer than optimal for artificial snowmaking.Wolter’s report said he is optimistic that January through March will be wet for most of western and southern Colorado. He said the impact in the north-central mountains is harder to predict.Wolter said El Ninos are often followed by wet springs, which could erase any moisture deficits.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado CO

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