Colorado ski area snowpack far above January average

10 resorts, including Steamboat, Vail and Crested Butte, are more than 30% above normal

John Meyer
Denver Post
Trees along Steamboat Ski Resort's Morningside Lift were weighed down with snow on Dec. 31, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

If you’re thinking the snow gods have been very generous to Colorado skiers and snowboarders so far this season, you’re right.

Nearly every ski area in Colorado is reveling in above-average snowfall, some of them well above average. And, according to OpenSnow founding meteorologist Joel Gratz, there is only one explanation for the storm cycle that has been in place for weeks: Luck.

“That’s effectively it,” Gratz said Wednesday. “There is natural variability in the atmosphere. Sometimes it works in our favor, sometimes it works against us, and this one is working for us. What often happens is, once the atmosphere gets into some sort of a pattern, it can often stay in that pattern for a while. We’ve just been lucky that we are bearing the fruit, or the snowflakes, of this pattern.”

Last fall the U.S. Climate Prediction Center’s 90-day forecast for our region predicted above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation. Instead, the opposite has occurred. Temperatures have been mostly normal or colder, while the Colorado snowpack as a whole stands 26% above normal.


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