Dry, Warm Arizona Fall Pushes Ski Season Back

By Lillian Donahue
Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 3:52pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 4:08pm
(Photo courtesy of @AZSnowbowl)
Arizona Snowbowl.

Despite an especially snowy season last year, Arizona Snowbowl has delayed the opening of this ski season in the midst of an unusually dry and warm fall.

“We are making snow every night,” said JR Murray, General Manager of Arizona Snowbowl. “We are getting closer to opening every day. We just can’t make the call yet.”

But they’re not alone.

Resorts across the Rockies, including Vail, have delayed their ski seasons due to warm weather they can’t seem to shake.

Brian Klimowski, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff, said an extended dry spell in the area could lead to a mild winter in northern Arizona.

“So you know the snow normally kicks in in December,” Klimowski said. “We are just probably not going to see it kick in that aggressively this year.”

With no significant precipitation since September, this fall has been among Flagstaff’s top five driest seasons to date, according to the National Weather Service.

Although, Mark O’Malley, NOAA meteorologist in Phoenix, said the warm weather does not necessarily mean the death of this year’s winter season.

“Winters in Arizona, it only takes a couple weeks, a couple big storm systems and that really makes or breaks our winter,” O’Malley said. “We still could see some good storms come through later in the winter.”

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