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Good ski weather is on the way for the Southern Rockies, less so for the north

The early morning sun strikes the clouds hanging above Breckenridge Ski Resort on Jan. 13, 2023
Andrew Maciejewski
Summit Daily News
The early morning sun strikes the clouds hanging above Breckenridge Ski Resort on Jan. 13, 2023. In the coming weeks, this resort and others like it may well receive huge amounts of snow.

Colorado had a huge dump of snow last weekend, piling on several feet of crisp powder that is ideal for skiing. National forecasters say it's a sign of things to come – Colorado and the mountain areas to the south will have more snow than usual this winter.

“Through about the Christmas time, we should see below average snowfall,” said Russell Danielson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, Colorado. “But then looking later into the winter – January, February, especially March – we are expecting above normal snowfall conditions, which would be pretty good for snow for the ski season.”

North of Colorado, the forecast is drier. Snow will still be arriving in the northern Rockies, but perhaps a bit less than usual due to the El Niño conditions.

“And that's a very typical El Niño pattern. Then farther north up into Washington, Idaho, Montana, we're looking at below normal snowfall this year,” Danielsen said.

He says it’s still a toss-up on whether there’ll be snow for the holidays. “I would say odds probably lean towards not having a white Christmas. But again, it is too far out to tell.”

It’s important to remember that these are big-picture trends, and they cover a large region far into the future. Any of these areas could still see large winter storms – or even an unexpected dry spell.

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