The following major weather patterns affected the ski season.
November: Snowfall was less than half normal everywhere in the western U.S. Only Alberta had high snowfall, while the rest of Canada was about average.
Early to mid-December: The storm track moved into the Pacific Northwest and U.S. Northern Rockies, allowing most of these areas to reach full operation for Christmas. Utah and central Colorado had normal snow, but most resorts were in partial operation for the holidays after the dry November. California and the Southwest remained in extreme drought condition.
The Holiday High Pressure System sat over the entire West Coast for a week and a half. It extended into interior Canada, where there were bizarre temperature inversions bringing spring conditions at Christmas to areas like Red Mt. and Big White. Only Wyoming and Colorado got any new snow during the holidays.
January: This was the most "normal" month of the season, though the storm track gradually moved from north to south. Canada, the Northwest and Northern Rockies attained deep bases by mid-January. By January 10 the storms finally reached California and dumped enough to get everything open within a couple of weeks. Utah and central Colorado areas were generally in full operation by mid-January. Southern Colorado areas had normal snow, but were only partially open after the two drought months.
February to early March: California had the most snow, with significant storms continuing into Utah and Colorado. Southern Colorado rallied nicely and escaped the possibility of a 1977/1981-type full season of limited operation. Full operation did not occur in Arizona and New Mexico until March.
Mid-to late March: Starting March 10, high pressure blocked out California for another month. The northern areas favored in December got the snow again, but storms then curved south so Utah and Colorado got much more snow than before Christmas.
Spring: Spring was warmer and dryer than normal throughout the West. The Pacific Northwest had its usual late season on stockpiled snow. California got 3 feet in mid-April after a totally dry month. Utah and Colorado missed out on their usual spring storms. Snowbird and A-Basin's Palivaccini lost their snow base by early May.
For more detail on snow incidence by month and region, see 1999-2000 Ski Season Analysis.
|1999-2000 SKI SEASON SNOWFALL SUMMARY|
|RECORD HIGH (10 Years Minimum)||RECORD HIGH (10 Years Minimum)|
|Jay Peak, Vt. 4,000||465|
|Stowe, Vt. 3,950||271||Steamboat, Colo. 9,200||324||Dec.-Mar.|
|Lake Louise, Alb. 6,700||205|
|Alyeska, Alaska 1,400||741|
|ABOVE AVERAGE||ABOVE AVERAGE|
|Mt. Rainier Paradise, Wash. 5,420||683||Whiteface (Lake Placid), N. Y. 3,660||136||Dec.-Mar.|
|Mammoth Mtn, Calif. 9,600 or 8,900||442||Bridger Bowl, Mont. 7,100||237||Dec.-Mar.|
|Berthoud Pass, Colo. 11,315||351||Telluride, Colo. 11,170||195||Dec.-Mar.|
|Mt. Fidelity (Selkirks), B. C. 6,150||517||Crystal Mtn 1, Wash. 4,400||284||Dec.-Mar.|
|Sunshine Village, Alb. 7,028||287||Crystal Mtn 2, Wash. 6,100||341||Dec.-Mar.|
|Kirkwood (Carson Pass), Calif. 8,526||496||Schweitzer, Idaho||227||Dec.-Mar.|
|Grand Targhee, Wyo. 8,200||465||Big Mountain, Mont. 6,700||285||Dec.-Mar.|
|Whistler Roundhouse, B. C. 6,000||426|
|Silver Star, B. C. 5,200||247|
|Big White, B. C. 6,200||308|
|Snowshoe, W. V. 4,848||169|
|Big Sky, Mont. 8,920||296|
|Mt. Baker, Wash. 4,300||701|
|Stevens Pass, Wash. 4,061||530|
|Copper Mtn, Colo. 11,000||310|
|Keystone, Colo. 11,641||248|
|Snowmass, Colo. 11,000||267|
|BELOW AVERAGE||BELOW AVERAGE|
|Central Sierra Snow Lab - Boreal, Cal. 7,200||345||Sun Valley, Idaho 8,800||124||Dec.-Mar.|
|Killington, Vt. 4,142||209||Deer Valley, Utah 8,200||227||Dec.-Mar.|
|Sugarloaf, Maine 3,695||157||Crested Butte, Colo. 10,150||219||Dec.-Mar.|
|Jackson Hole, Wyo. 8,250||363||Breckenridge, Colo. 11,100||222||Dec.-Mar.|
|Alta, Utah 8,650||501||Aspen Mtn, Colo. 11,190||195||Dec.-Mar.|
|Whistler Base, B. C. 2,200||184||Purgatory, Colo. 10,000||196||Dec.-Mar.|
|Alpine Meadows, Calif. 7,000||330|
|Brighton, Utah 8,740||312|
|Snowbird, Utah 10,000||409|
|Mt. Bachelor, Ore. 6,350||336|
|Southern California Composite 7,000 - 8,000||112|
|Mary Jane at Winter Park, Colo. 10,800||334|
|Gothic, Colo. 9,400||288|
|Arapahoe Basin, Colo. 10,820||304|
|Sugarbush, Vt. 3,000||221|
|Fernie Snow Valley, B. C. 5,400||348|
|Mt. Hood Meadows, Ore. 5,400||364|
|Red Mt. Pass, Colo. 11,090||263|
|Brian Head, Utah 9,770||293|
|Vail, Colo. 11,250||345|
|Smuggler's Notch, Vt. 1,600||263|
|Tod Mt. (Sun Peaks), B. C. 6,100||192|
|Heavenly Valley, Calif. 8,400||254|
|Mt. Washington, N. H. 6,262||236||Waterville Valley, N. H. 3,000||91||Dec.-Mar.|
|Taos, N. Mex. 11,200||153||Stratton, Vt. 3,875||115||Dec.-Mar.|
|Arizona Snowbowl 1, Ariz. 9,500||115|
|Arizona Snowbowl 2, Ariz. 10,800||178|
|Okemo, Vt. 3,300||120|
|Snow Basin, Utah 7,700||250|
|Wolf Creek, Colo. 10,642||216|
|RECORD LOW (10 Years Minimum)||RECORD LOW (10 Years Minimum)|