It’s a strange and unusual winter, but it’s not that far off from what Utah ski resorts are seeing in the desert.
The Utah Avalanche Sports Association says its members, including resorts like Deseret Ski, Salt Lake, Ski Salt Lake and others, are seeing an uptick in snowmaking.
The association says its average ski season has seen more than 2.5 inches of snowfall, with the most recent season up to 2.9 inches.
It’s a lot of snowmaking in the middle of the desert, says Bob Warshawski, who runs Deseret ski resorts.
The snowmaking has been growing since a few years ago, he says, because of a combination of warmer temperatures and more snowmaking from a warmer air mass.
Ski resorts around the country are seeing a similar spike in snowmakers, too.
Snowmaking at Salt Lake City’s Skyline Ski Resort increased more than 70 percent this year compared to the previous season, according to a recent report by the Utah Avalanche Association.
The Snowbird Ski Resort in Boulder also saw an increase in snow making.
There’s no reason for this to be the case, Warshawkas says, pointing out the weather conditions in Utah are the perfect conditions for snowmaking to happen.
“We’ve got warm, sunny weather, and the snowpack is good, so it’s going to continue to be that way,” he says.
He also pointed out that snowmaking is just one part of skiing.
There are a number of other factors, too, such as the fact that the region is prone to extreme weather.
The winter storm that hit Utah in May has made it difficult for many ski resorts to operate and snowmaking also suffers.
But Warshawkski says he’s hopeful for a warm summer and snow.
“The ski season is just starting, but we will definitely see a nice warm season coming,” he said.