Best weather for Wyoming ski areas coming in December


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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

The outlook for snow in Wyoming through the remainder of November is not good, especially for ski areas across the state that are preparing to open their lifts for the season, according to a Wyoming meteorologist.

But that will change once December rolls around, according to Don Day, founder of Cheyenne’s DayWeather.

“While the ski areas are probably sweaty right now, I’m optimistic things will change in December,” he told the Cowboy State Daily. “And it will happen in early December.”

One of the state’s ski areas, Grand Targhee in Alta, opened for the season on Wednesday with a 30-inch snow base and 69% of the resort open for skiing.

The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort planned to continue its long tradition of opening for the season on Thanksgiving Day, although the terrain available for skiing is limited, according to the ski area’s website.

“Mother Nature got off to a slow start on the low mountain, but with increased snowmaking capacity and dedicated staff working around the clock, we are delighted to open our lifts this Thursday,” said Mary Kate Buckley, President of the region.

Four of the state’s other ski areas – Snow King Resort in Jackson, Hogadon near Casper, Snowy Range near Centennial, and Sleeping Giant near Cody – are slated to open between Dec. 3 and 11, according to the Ski Central website.

Day said that by the time the zones open in December, decent snow is expected to start falling in the state’s mountains.

“Around the first weekend in December it will be much colder and the mountain snows will set in,” he said.

Day attributed the sudden change in weather conditions to La Nina, a weather event that occurs when the surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean drop to below normal levels, affecting weather globally.

“It’s very typical in a La Nina to have alternating months which can be hot and dry, and then the next month it can go the other way around,” he said.

The only ski area that hasn’t announced an opening date is White Pine near Pinedale.

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