Resorts thankful for early snow

The Genoa statue of Lillian Virgin has a big plate of snow, looking like she's fixing to hurl it across Main Street at the statue of Snowshoe Thompson.

The Genoa statue of Lillian Virgin has a big plate of snow, looking like she's fixing to hurl it across Main Street at the statue of Snowshoe Thompson.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Heavy snow in the mountains resulted in Vail Resorts moving up the opening of Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar a week.

Heavenly got 11 inches of snow on Nov. 9, according to the telemetry peaking at 20 inches.

The big blast of snow and subsequent cold weather allowed the resorts to open on Saturday after a surprise announcement they were moving the date up from Nov. 18.

There may be some gravy in the forecast for Thanksgiving week as forecasters look ahead at the possibility of more wet weather.

“Details are remarkably unclear as ensemble solutions continue to waiver the timing and position of subtropical moisture surges and attendant shortwave troughs over the West Coast next week,” said National Weather Service Reno Meteorologist Chris Johnston on Wednesday morning. “At any rate, some flavor of unsettled weather looks likely next week.”

That wet weather could be a blessing or a curse for the resorts depending on the temperatures.

While colder temperatures will mean more snow, rain on the slopes could wash away skiers’ hopes.

Even if there isn’t a major storm for Thanksgiving, the last week has seen well above average precipitation and snowfall, especially compared to November 2021’s paltry .35-inch helping.

Minden weather watch Stan Kapler recorded .87 inches of precipitation over the first two weeks of the month, much in the former of 7.2 inches.

Kapler only reported 2 inches of snow from Sunday’s slider storm that appears to have focused most of its energy in southern Carson Valley.

Fredericksburg resident Jeff Garvin reported 4.5 inches fell at his home, more than Heavenly Ski Resort from the overnight storm.

Garvin said he received 10 inches in the Election Day storm that snarled traffic.

The day also brought snowplows to many Carson Valley roads for the first time of the season.

The storm closed Highway 395 south of the Nevada state line until the following morning.

The highway closed Election Night through most of Mono County due to heavy snow and whiteout conditions. Monitor Pass reopened on Tuesday while California transportation officials decided to leave Sonoma Pass closed for the season. If next week’s storms pan out, Ebbetts is likely to remain closed for the season as well.

In the mountains, there is already around four feet of snow near Silver Lake, which has seen 8.81 inches of precipitation since Oct. 1.

On Monday night, there was 13 inches of snow at Burnside Lake, according to snow telemetry, with 4.9 inches of precipitation.

Heavenly Valley has seen 4.2 inches of precipitation, according to the snow telemetry. Heavenly Mountain Resort was reporting three feet of snow with a 31-inch base depth.

The forecast for the next several days is for dry, calm and cold conditions through Sunday, according to the forecast. High temperatures will remain in the 40s with overnight lows in the teens.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment