2016-17 Ski Season Summary

The following major weather patterns affected the 2016-17 ski season.
October: There were major storms along the West Coast but warm with very high snow levels. Only the high alpine sectors of Whistler and Mammoth accumulated much snow.
First half of November: Nearly the entire US West was warmer than normal and bone dry. Only Western Canada and a few US areas close to the border had average snowfall, and only Whistler much above average.
Late November and December: Most of the West had consistently above average snowfall and more than made up for the earlier deficit. The strongest storm tracks were through the Pacific Northwest, US Northern Rockies and northern Utah and Colorado.
January: Three enormous atmospheric river storms hammered California with a total of 12-25 feet of snow, a single month record for most areas. These storms also hit Utah and Oregon hard and continued above average into Colorado and the Southwest. Farther north temperatures were cold but snowfall decreased the farther north you went. January was the driest month of the season in western Canada.
February: Two more atmospheric river storms dumped 8-15 feet of snow in California. The first storm sent some snow into the Southwest, but the brunt of these storm tracks moved northeast, hammering Utah and the US Northern Rockies. The Northwest and Canadian areas near the border were above average, while Colorado and areas farther north in Canada were well below average.
March: The storm track shifted north, bring abundant snow to Washington State, western Canada and US areas near the border. Farther south in the U.S. West snowfall was generally half normal or less so widespread spring conditions emerged.
April/May: April snowfall was moderately above average across the West. Snowfall was unusually high in a few isolated places, notably Banff, Big Sky and Alta. Colorado's snowpack was below average after the warm and dry February/March, but late April and May had above average snow to maintain normal spring skiing at Loveland and A-Basin.

2016-17 was most distinguished by the atmospheric river storms of January/February, resulting in a top 5 season for California. There is not much data from 1968-69 but the pattern at Mammoth was amazingly similar.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Mammoth 1968-69

43

86

247

156

36

24

592

166%

Mammoth 2016-17

21.5

68.5

245

170

38.5

68

611.5

174%

While not as extreme as California, most other western regions enjoyed solidly above average seasons in the 120% range. Only Colorado was average or slightly below due to the dry February/March offsetting the snowy November/December. The southwest flow from the atmospheric river storms resulted in some unusual relationships within Rocky Mountain regions. High snow areas included Sun Valley (167%), Park City (147%), Snowbasin (144%), Brighton (135%) and Whitefish (134%). For more detail on snow incidence by month and region, see 2016-17 Ski Season Analysis.

2016-17  SKI  SEASON  SNOWFALL  SUMMARY    
               
RECORD  HIGH  (10 Years Minimum)   6+ Powder RECORD  HIGH  (10 Years Minimum)     6+ Powder
 Park City 2, Utah   9,300  427 19%          
 Northstar, Calif.   7,800 587 28%          
 Heavenly Valley, Calif.   10,000    659 32%          
 Big Mountain, Mont.   6,700     440 20%          
 Whiteface (Lake Placid), N. Y.  3,660 281 12%          
               
HIGH       HIGH      
 Central Sierra Snow Lab - Boreal, Cal. 7,200  551 25%    Red Mt. 2, B. C.   6,650 263 Dec.-Mar 15%
 Mt. Washington, N. H.  6,262 396 15%          
 Bear Valley, Calif.  7,750 520 24%          
 Mammoth Mtn, Calif.   9,600 or 8,900 620 29%          
 Lake Louise, Alb.  6,700 228 8%          
 Alpine Meadows, Calif.   7,000   552 26%          
 Mt. Bachelor, Ore.   6,350  538 24%          
 Cannon Mt., N. H. 1,800 245 12%          
 Jay Peak, Vt.  3,000 427 22%          
 Heavenly Valley, Calif.   8,400    488 24%          
 Sugarbush, Vt.   3,000 340 16%          
 Jupiter Bowl, Utah   10,000 495 22%          
 Squaw Valley, Calif.   6,200      419 20%          
 Mt. Baker, Wash.   4,300 871 38%          
 Snow Basin, Utah   7,700  453 21%          
 Squaw Valley, Calif.   8,000      721 33%          
 Mt. Rose, Nev.   8,600 592 27%          
 Stowe, Vt.  3,041 375 17%          
 Sun Valley, Idaho   8,800  325 17%          
 Sugar Bowl, Calif.   7,000     725 33%          
 Keystone, Colo.   11,641 289 12%          
 Waterville Valley, N. H. 3,000  201 11%          
 Aspen Highlands, Colo.   11,100  320 14%          
 Whitewater, B. C.  5,500 485 22%          
 Crested Butte, Colo.   10,150   350 16%          
 Castle Mt., Alb.  5,700 385 16%          
 June Mtn, Calif.   8,700    384 20%          
               
ABOVE  AVERAGE       ABOVE  AVERAGE      
 Mt. Mansfield Stake, Vt.  3,950 227 11%          
 Crater Lake (Mt. Bailey), Ore.   6,800 522 23%          
 Sugarloaf, Maine 3,695 213 11%          
 Mt. Rainier Paradise, Wash. 5,420 640 29%          
 Snoqualmie Pass, Wash.   3,000 402 21%          
 Jackson Hole, Wyo.   8,250   447 20%          
 Sunshine Village, Alb.  7,028 303 11%          
 Kirkwood (Carson Pass), Calif.  8,526 625 30%          
 Gothic, Colo. 9,400   363 16%          
 Southern California Composite   7,000 - 8,000   143 8%          
 Grand Targhee, Wyo.   8,200 491 19%          
 Whistler Roundhouse, B. C.   6,000       510 18%          
 Alta, Utah   9.600 594 23%          
 Loveland, Colo.   11,200   353 15%          
 Arapahoe Basin, Colo.   10,820 349 13%          
 Big Sky, Mont.   8,920  323 10%          
 Mt. Hood Meadows, Ore.   5,400 556 25%          
 Fernie, B. C.  5,400    440 19%          
 Snowbird Mid-Gad, Utah   9,640 539 22%          
 Red Mt. Pass, Colo.   11,090 345 14%          
 Arizona Snowbowl 2, Ariz.   10,800 332 16%          
 Smuggler's Notch, Vt.   1,600 362 17%          
 Brian Head, Utah   9,770  324 14%          
 Wolf Creek, Colo.   10,642 440 20%          
 Sun Peaks, B. C.  6,100 233 9%          
 Brighton/Solitude, Utah   9,400 560 23%          
 Crystal Mtn 2, Wash.   6,100 439 19%          
 Snowmass, Colo.  11,000 296 12%          
 Aspen Mtn, Colo.   11,190 255 11%          
 Sierra at Tahoe, Calif.  7,746 511 24%          
 Telluride, Colo.   11,170 334 15%          
 Schweitzer, Idaho   4,700   332 16%          
 Revelstoke, B.C.  6,429 381 15%          
               
BELOW  AVERAGE       BELOW  AVERAGE      
 Killington, Vt.  4,142 235 11%    Bridger Bowl, Mont.   7,100     214 Dec.-Mar 12%
 Mt. Fidelity (Selkirks), B. C.  6,150 465 19%    Red Mt. 2, B. C.   6,650 201 Dec.-Mar 11%
 Taos, N. Mex.   11,200 216 9%          
 Berthoud Pass, Colo.   11,315  287 12%          
 Mary Jane at Winter Park, Colo.   10,800      330 13%          
 Snowbird, Utah   10,000   428 17%          
 Steamboat, Colo.   9,200    346 13%          
 Stratton, Vt.   3,875 179 8%          
 Brundage, Idaho   6,000 300 15%          
 Okemo, Vt.   3,300 144 6%          
 Stevens Pass, Wash.   4,061 432 21%          
 Breckenridge 2, Colo.   12,000 338 14%          
 Vail, Colo.   11,250    298 12%          
 Copper Mtn, Colo.   11,000   276 12%          
 Le Massif, Que.  2,600 233 11%          
 Beaver Creek, Colo.   11,200 292 12%          
 Monarch, Colo.    265 12%          
 Purgatory, Colo.   10,000  261 12%          
               
LOW       LOW      
 Alyeska, Alaska  2,750 465 19%          
 Alyeska, Alaska   1,500   283 14%          
 Snowshoe, W. V. 4,848 105 5%          
               
RECORD  LOW (10 Years Minimum)       RECORD  LOW (10 Years Minimum)      
None