Early October snows in Colorado have led to possibilities for an earlier skiing and snowboarding season, but some weather experts warn that this winter could actually be warmer.
Arapahoe Basin had its earliest-ever opening on Oct. 9, according to its Web site. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site, however, predicts that El Niño-a periodic change in atmospheric temperature-could actually make Colorado a little warmer this winter.
In the coming months, the weather is likely to be warmer in the Northern plains, and colder in the southern and eastern U.S. It is likely to be drier in the Pacific Northwest and eastern U.S. and wetter in the South, especially Texas and Florida, according to NOAA.
It does not appear that Colorado will be affected by El Niño in terms of moisture, but may be a little warmer.
“We expect El Niño to strengthen and persist through the winter months, providing clues as to what the weather will be like during the period,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, on its Web site.
In the shorter term, the NOAA predicts possible rain and snow showers on the night of Tuesday and on Wednesday morning. Temperatures are likely to hover in the 40s or 50s in the coming week.
Recent weather predictions have lead to speculation on how ski resorts will fare.
“If you talk about it, you’ll jinx it,” said Meredith McKee, the public relations coordinator for Aspen ski resort.
Colorado’s skiing and snowboarding season is gearing up for its grand opening in the coming months. Aside from Arapahoe Basin’s opening on Oct. 9, Keystone is opening Nov. 6, Breckenridge Nov. 12, Vail Nov. 20, Winter Park Nov. 18 and Aspen Nov. 26.
CU students are already looking forward to the chance to ski and board.
“I love the winter,” said junior history major Christy Hayashi. “Growing up in Colorado, you just have to enjoy it.”
Other students say they plan to devote their weekends to skiing.
“I would get the five mountain pass and ski every weekend,” said Punam Chatterjee, a junior MCD biology and psychology double-major.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Gouri Srinidhi at Sushupta.email@example.com.