October 2016 was exceptionally stormy over the northwestern quarter of North America.
However, most of the moisture was subtropical so snowfall was confined to the highest elevations. Grand Targhee and the alpine sectors of Whistler and Revelstoke have the most snow. The start of the ski season will be more dependent upon base area snow, which is minimal in most places due to warm weather and/or rain. Only Western Canada has much of a natural snowpack yet. Storms are expected to continue mostly in the Northwest and Western Canada during the first third of November.
California: The Sierra had a major storm mid-October with snow levels in the 9,000 foot range and a smaller one at the end
of the month. Mammoth had 10 inches at Main Lodge, but there is 2-3 feet at the top of the mountain. Mt. Rose had 14-28
inches snow but the base is 1-7 inches. Squaw Valley had 1-3 inches snow and lots of rain.
Pacific Northwest: The region had a record wet October but the rain/snow line was above most of the ski areas. The Whistler
alpine is the conspicuous exception. Cams show a good snowpack of perhaps 3 feet at the top of the Whistler gondola. Mt. Bachelor
had 27 inches snowfall and has a 5 inch base. Mt. Hood had 5 inches snowfall.
Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: Snowfall has been more widespread in this regions. Snowfall and base depths: Big White (11
inches, 6 inches), Red Mt. (19.5, no base reported), Whitewater (37, 29.5), Revelstoke (79, 24), Kicking Horse (53, 24), Sunshine (39, 21).
Cams show some snowpack at Lake Louise also.
U. S. Northern Rockies: Grand Targhee had 57 inches snowfall and has an 18 inch base. As in other regions elevation tells the story.
Mid-mountain Jackson Hole had 26 inches snowfall but the base is one inch. Brundage had 4 inches snowfall and has a one inch base.
Utah: Utah was far enough south and east to miss most of October's action. There was a bit of snow mid-month but later rain
washed it out. Cams at Alta and Snowbird show little snow, even up high.
Northern and Central Colorado: A-Basin opened a run on snowmaking October 21 but no one else has opened yet. Natural snow has been
well below average with Copper reporting 11 inches. Cams show minimal natural snow at Steamboat and Winter Park.
Southern and Western Colorado: This region has been dry. The Rocky Mountain Biological Lab at Gothic (between Crested Butte and Aspen)
has had 10 inches season snowfall, about one third of normal.
Northeast: Killington opened October 25 with a mix of manmade and 17.5 inches snow but no one else has opened yet. Other snowfall totals:
Stowe 21 inches, Sugarbush 20, Whiteface 16, Cannon 4.
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