South Shore ski update: As temperatures drop, Heavenly targets Thanksgiving weekend |

South Shore ski update: As temperatures drop, Heavenly targets Thanksgiving weekend

As Tahoe ski lodges such as Heavenly Mountain Resort have their snowmaking guns prepared for temperatures to drop, Mother Nature appears to be in lock-step with what it and other ski areas need to get the season started.

With unseasonably warm weather this week, the forecast calls for temperatures to fall significantly next week. Instead of opening today as what had been hoped for, Heavenly Mountain Resort officials decided to wait for the cold weather to kick in, allowing for snowmaking and a Thanksgiving holiday start.

“A colder pattern is expected to settle in early next week, allowing us to get our snowmaking operation into full swing,” Blaise Carrig, Heavenly’s chief operating officer, said earlier this week.

Cold temperatures should arrive by Sunday night with the low hitting around 25 degrees. Temperatures continue to drop Monday with a daytime high of 43 and a night time low of 11. Tuesday’s daytime high is expected to be 39 degrees with a low of 12 degrees. The cold streak is expected throughout the week.

This is good news for Heavenly and other resorts that have snow making capabilities. There are two conditions needed for snowmaking, low humidity and consistent temperatures below freezing.

“Our snowmaking crew is ready to jump into action as soon as temperatures allow,” Carrig said.

Heavenly has at least 70 snowmaking machines and has recorded about 30-plus hours of snowmmaking time so far this season. The resort has been able to make some snow this past week, but weather changes have not allowed the kind of depth needed for quality skiing and riding.

Heavenly will open on the upper Nevada side of the mountain, accessible through the Gondola. The resort will keep its snow phone and Web site updated with the latest information, officials said.

As for other area resorts, Kirkwood has announced a tentative opening date of Nov. 24, while Sierra-at-Tahoe hasn’t yet scheduled an opening date.

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