Winter weather advisory excites Vail locals |

Winter weather advisory excites Vail locals

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Charlie Holmes had a quick, one-word answer when he learned about the first winter weather advisory of the season: “Awesome!”

Holmes, manager of the Surefoot stores in Vail and Beaver Creek, said he’s eager for winter.

“I’m ready,” he said. “We’re getting new gear in now.”

On the other hand, the first snow of the season – forecast for Wednesday night, at elevations above 9,000 feet – is always kind of a tease.

“These early storms never stick,” Holmes said. Still, Wednesday’s advisory from the National Weather Service was the first snow in the forecast since spring.

At American Ski Exchange in Vail, Michelle Rogers said she’s eager for skiing, but “not ready to give up our Indian summer just yet.”

Rogers said she’s hoping for early snow and lots of it – as are many people in the Vail Valley. But historical trends paint a different picture.

Joe Ramey, a forecaster at the Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service, said he expects a second season of “La Nina” weather patterns, which set up with cooler ocean water off the coast of Peru.

Last winter’s weather was very, very good to Vail. But Ramey said it would be a mistake to expect a repeat of last season. Ramey said there have been seven years of second-year La Nina weather since 1950, and all of them have produced less snow than the year before.

With that in mind, he’s predicting “near-normal” snowfall for the northern mountains in the coming winter.

But Ramey and every other forecaster will acknowledge that long-range predictions can be imprecise, so we can still hope that this year’s pattern is as moist as the one last season.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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