Colorado ski resorts see improved snowfall compared with dry 2017-18 winter
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — For people seeking mountain adventures in Colorado ski towns, this winter has been a welcome return to heavier snowfall and more powder days.
In January 2018, snowpack across the state hit a 30-year low, according to a report from The Coloradoan. Data from the National Weather Service listed last winter as the warmest on record for Colorado.
Contrast that to this year, when most of the resorts in the state have opened all of their skiable terrain to guests. Steamboat Springs is among those resorts seeing favorable snow conditions.
“This winter certainly got off to a much better start than last year,” said Loryn Kasten, senior communications manager at Steamboat Resort.
She added that the winter kicked off with some of the best preseason snowmaking conditions the resort has seen.
“Mother Nature certainly helped us out,” she said, pointing to cold, dry conditions starting in early November.
Wednesday’s storm brought 6 inches to the resort, and more snow is in the forecast.
Last year, Steamboat Resort received 263.25 inches of snowfall, down from 288.75 inches the season prior.
Other resorts have seen similar improvements.
Breckenridge had one of its earliest opening days in the past decade. The resort has received almost 200 inches of snowfall so far this season. Last year, it didn’t hit that mark until the end of March.
“The difference is night and day compared to last year,” said Sara Lococo, senior communications manager at Breckenridge.
Another storm should hit the Vail-owned resort this weekend.
Steamboat also has snow in the forecast.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning until 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, for Western Colorado, including Steamboat Springs. A Pacific storm system is expected to bring 6 to 12 inches of snow to the area by Friday night with wind gusts reaching 35 mph.
Drivers should take caution, especially when traveling over mountain passes. Skiers and boarders should take advantage of the powder.
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At 7 p.m. Thursday, the Yampa River’s temperature was 72 degrees at a spot in the Chuck Lewis Wildlife Area south of Steamboat. That’s about 15 degrees higher than the typical average.