Ski resorts look for snowfall records, ready closing dates
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – If the flakes keep falling, snowfall for the year could be the most ever recorded at South Shore resorts.
“I think we’re getting pretty close,” said Russ Pecoraro, a spokesman for Heavenly Mountain Resort. “We’re third as it stands right now.”
Heavenly needs 30-40 more inches to pass their previous record, Pecoraro said.
Over at Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort, the 2004/’05 winter record of 647 inches was broken Thursday. As of press time total snowfall was 662 inches. The all-time record at Sierra was the winter of 1982/’83 when 756 inches of snow fell on the resort.
“Needless to say, we’re on pace to come close or break it,” said Steven Hemphill, a spokesman for the mountain. “The conditions have played into it being a great season.”
At Kirkwood, often the mountain with the most snowfall in Tahoe, the current total stands between 654-668 inches. The total is inching towards a 2005/’06 high of 805 inches. Earlier in the year Kirkwood received the “Most Snow in the World” accolade from Skiinfo.com after landing 12.5 feet in seven days.
“With regards to storms and snow stats, it’s been absolutely incredible,” said Michael Dalzell, a spokesman for Kirkwood. “We’re probably going to have a record snow year this year. We’ve actually decided to extend our season.”
After a 159-day season, Kirkwood will be closing May 1. Heavenly plans on finishing their 152-day season just after the Easter weekend on April 24. Sierra won’t be open any longer than normal with a closing date in mid to late April, Hemphill said.
The snow has come in a little differently than in past years, said Mark Deutschendorf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. A high number of fast-passing smaller storms have dropped small amounts of snow as opposed to a few large storms leaving big amounts of the white stuff, he said.
A typical April will bring 1-3 feet of snow, Deutschendorf said. Last year’s April, with 7-9 feet of snow, was out of the ordinary, but that much snow is a possibility, he said.
“April is typically a transition month where the snow track stays far north, but there still is that chance that a few storms would dive in south, bringing some snow.”
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