2018-19 Ski Season Analysis as of June 12, 2019

2018-19 was an above average snowfall season in North America's ski areas, with US skier vists being the highest since 2010-11. Early season snowfall was overall close to average but there were no deficient regions over the holidays. Most of the excess snowfall came during a huge February, though March was also big in Utah and Colorado. Comprehensive snow statistics are shown in the 2018-19 Ski Season Summary.

Prior Progress Reports
November 2, 2018
November 11, 2018
November 18, 2018
November 25, 2018
December 1, 2018
December 8, 2018
December 15, 2018
December 23, 2018
December 31, 2018
January 14, 2019
January 31, 2019
February 14, 2019
February 28, 2019
March 15, 2019
March 31, 2019
April 13, 2019

Colorado had some early snow opening Wolf Creek October 13 and assisting the Loveland and A-Basin openings a week later. In early November it snowed across the northern Rockies but strongest around the Continental Divide in Colorado. There was widespread snowfall over most of the West the last two weeks of November. Thus the season got off to a strong start in the Northeast and in some western regions and was only seriously deficient in the Pacific Northwest. There was moderate snow from California to Colorado during the first week of December but mostly dry farther north. For the next two weeks the pattern reversed, with big storms in the Northwest and western Canada bringing most areas close to full operation, and only moderate snows farther south. Big Sky, Bridger and Grand Targhee in the Northern Rockies and nearly everywhere in northern and central Colorado remained in excellent shape for the holidays based on the strong early season. Other regions were below average with some expert terrain not open for the holidays. The exceptions close to full holiday operation operation were Mammoth, Kirkwood, Aspen/Snowmass and Utah's Cottonwood Canyons. There was scattered snow over the holiday week, but only Washington and Oregon got much more than a foot.

During the first half of January, the storm track split, with the strongest ones going into Canada and California. During the third week of January major storms pounded California and Utah with lesser amounts in adjacent regions. After a pause during the last week of January, the strong storm track through California and Utah intensified through the first half of February and pushed farther into other regions. Two more major storms hit California and Utah during the second half of February, the first continuing on to the Southwest and the second tracking mainly into Idaho and Wyoming. During the first half of March the storm track continued through California and Utah but hit low pressure over Colorado and snowed even more there. February and early March brought 2018-19 into the range of the top 5 seasons of the past 40+ years. However the second half of March continued the California/Utah storm track at a much less intense level. These regions were about average but regions farther north had less than a foot of new snow with widespread spring conditions developing. Early April storms tracked from the Northwest to Colorado, dumping the most snow in Utah. The seond half of April was mostly warm and dry, but May has been cooler and cloudier than average with some new snow.

California: Mt. Rose opened opened its 200 vertical beginner lift most weekends since Oct. 19. Mammoth delayed its snowmaking opening from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10. There was no natural snow until 1.5 - 2 feet fell over Thanksgiving weekend and 2-3 feet the last weekend of November. After another foot of snow in early December, base depths reached 3-4 feet. Mammoth and Kirkwood reached full operation with most other areas over half open. Open terrain was fairly stable through the holidays with the ongoing small snows refreshing surfaces but not adding much to the 2-4 foot snowpack. Over the first weekend in January most Sierra areas got 3-4 feet of snow, bringing base depths to 3-6 feet and opening most terrain. 4-6 feet of snow fell during the third week of January, being base depths to 5-8 feet. During the first half of February 9-12 feet of snow fell. Second half of February snowfall was 6 feet at Mammoth and 8-12 feet at Tahoe. All Sierra areas reported record February totals over 200 inches. Arizona Snowbowl had 150 inches in February. First half of March snowfall was 3-4 feet. Second half of March Sierra snowfall ranged from 2 feet in the south to 3 feet on the Crest in the north. Early April snowfall averaged a foot over three small storms which included some low elevation rain. Spring conditions prevailed for most of April and first half of May, but 2-3 feet of snow fell May 16-27. Squaw was open weekends/holidays to July 7 and Mammoth daily until July 28. See Current California Ski Conditions for more details on Southern California and Mammoth.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr/May

Total

Pct. of Normal

Squaw 8,000

55

44

158

313

88

61

719

155%

Squaw 6,200

23

22

90

225

27

15

402

146%

Heavenly 10,000

39

22

61

269

68

15

474

122%

Mammoth

53.5

27.5

94.5

207.5

67.5

43.5

494

140%

Southern Cal

6

19

25

78

22

0

150

124%

Arizona Snowbowl

23

52

66

150

49

6

346

147%

Pacific Northwest: The region had just a few inches in October and almost none in November until Thanksgiving week. Late November brought 2 feet of snow in Washington and 3 feet in Oregon. Open terrain was very limited through the first week of December, with Whistler having the least open on Dec. 1 in over 20 years. During the middle two weeks of December it dumped 11 feet at Whistler and Mt. Baker and 4-6 feet farther south. During Christmas week it snowed a foot at Whistler and average 3 feet in Washington and Oregon, bringing base depths to 4-6+ feet. First half of January snowfall was 2-3 feet in Washington and Oregon and 6 feet at Whistler. Second half of January snowfall ranged from just over a foot at Whistler to 2.5 feet in Oregon. Ungroomed surfaces were variable for awhile but conditions became excellent after 3-4 feet of snow during the second week of February and sustained cold temperatures the rest of the month. Second half of February snowfall was 1.5 feet at Whistler, 3-4 feet in Washington and 6-7 feet in Oregon. First half of March snowfall averaged 3 feet in Oregon and about half that farther north, but temperatures stayed cool for good snow preservation. Widespread spring conditions emerged in the second half of March, when only Mt. Bachelor received as much as a foot of new snow. During the first half of April it snowed 3 feet in Oregon and 2 feet farther north. Whistler and Bachelor are open for normal spring skiing through May.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Mt. Baker

31

205

90

130

36

36

528

81%

Stevens Pass

36

113

64

93

23

41

370

78%

Crystal Mt.

28

132

52

136

42

43

433

105%

Mt. Hood Meadows

27

99

42

137

47

57

409

90%

Crater Lake

29.4

72.8

52.2

157.1

73.2

46.7

431.4

101%

Canadian Rockies and Interior B.C.: There was widespread scattered snowfall in both October and November. The most snow fell between Revelstoke and Banff with lesser amounts farther south and west. The Banff and Okanagan regions got significant terrain open early, but other areas were more restricted. The first week of December was dry but 3-5 feet fell during the next two weeks. Silver Star was 95% open by Dec. 15 and Sun Peaks 93% before Christmas, and both 100% at New Year's. About a foot of snow fell over the holidays, and New Year's base depths were 4-5 feet. 2-3 feet fell during the first half of January. Second half of January snowfall averaged barely a foot as the main storm track was far to the south. The first half of February storms snowed about 3 feet at areas near the US border and about half that farther north. From mid-February to mid-March 4+ feet of snow fell in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions but only about 2 feet east of the Selkirks. During the second half of March all of western Canada averaged only 6 inches of snow, resulting in extensive spring conditions. Sun Peaks and Silver Star retreated to less than 2/3 open by the end of March. About a foot of snow fell in early April.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Big White

36.4

52.5

23.8

67.1

33.4

30.6

243.8

86%

Whitewater

73.8

72.4

37.8

54.3

38.6

31.1

308

78%

Fernie

51.6

72.8

42.1

58.7

27.2

26.4

278.8

74%

Kicking Horse

29.5

89

43.9

25.2

10.6

13.4

211.6

84%

U. S. Northern Rockies: Central Montana got off to an excellent start with Discovery 21% open on Nov. 16 and half open for Thanksgiving. Bridger opened for Thanksgiving, two weeks ahead of schedule. Big Sky reached 83% open by Dec. 15. Wyoming's start was above average but Idaho and the interior Northwest were well below average. The Tetons got 2-3 feet in December before Christmas plus 3 feet over the holidays. The previously deficient Interior Northwest improved with 4-5 feet during the last three weeks of December. New Years' base depths were 7 feet at Targhee and 4-5 feet elsewhere. First half of January snowfall was 2+ feet in the interior Northwest but only about a foot farther south. During the second half of January snowfall ranged from 2 feet near the Canadian border to 4+ feet in the Tetons. First half of February snowfall ranged from 3-4 feet near the Canadian border to 5-6 feet in the Tetons. Second half of February snowfall was 2+ feet near the Canadian border, 4-5 feet farther south in Idaho and Montana, and 6-7 feet in the Tetons. First half of March snowfall averaged 3 feet in the Tetons and about half as much farther north. This region also developed spring conditions over the second half of March with an average 6 inches new snow. Early April snowfall was 2 feet in the Tetons and one foot farther north.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Whitefish

41

60

52

65

27

37

282

85%

Big Sky

76

42

46

72

29

70

335

117%

Jackson Hole (mid)

53

60

69

166

28

32

408

111%

Utah: Utah had 2+ feet of early October snow but it only snowed a foot from mid-October up to Thanksgiving. During the rest of November it snowed 4 feet in the Cottonwoods and lesser amounts elsewhere. 3 feet of December snow opened the majority of terrain in the Cottonwoods, and another 2 feet fell during the holidays, leaving base depths of 5 feet in the Cottonwoods but still under 3 feet in Park City. There was an average of 2 feet of snow during the first half of January. During the third week of January it dumped 5-7 feet in the Cottonwoods and 3-4+ feet elsewhere. During the first half of February it dumped another 8 feet in the Cottonwoods and 5 feet elsewhere. Second half of February snowfall was 2-3 feet in northern Utah and 4 feet in southern Utah. First half of March snowfall was 6-7 feet in southern Utah and the Cottonwoods and 4-5 feet elsewhere. Second half of March snowfall was 3+ feet in the Cottonwoods and about 2 feet elsewhere. Utah was the standout region of early April with 4+ feet of snow in the Cottonwoods and 3 feet elsewhere. Snowbird was open weekends to July 4 after 4 feet of May snowfall.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Alta

63.5

72.5

105.5

131

135.5

79.5

587.5

113%

Solitude (upper)

55

60

92

134

103

51

495

104%

Snowbasin

49

56

66

118

90

47

426

135%

Park City (mid)

38

45

63

91

79

42

358

124%

Northern and Central Colorado: Cold early October weather and scattered snow allowed Loveland and A-Basin to open October 19. In late October/early November it snowed 4+ feet over much of this region. Ongoing modest snowfalls led to a well above average Thanksgiving including early openings of Vail's original Back Bowl and Horseshoe/Imperial Bowl at Breckenridge. Another foot of snow in late November opened more terrain by Dec. 1 than is usually open by Dec. 15, including 46% at A-Basin. 3-5 feet of snow in December continued to open more terrain. This was the standout region of the early season and had excellent conditions for the holidays. A-Basin was 84% open Dec. 15, second highest for mid-December in 24 years. Only a foot of snow fell during the first half of January, but the California/Utah storm track during the second half of January produced 3-5 feet of snow in this region. By late January A-Basin was 99% open, and regional base depths were 4-5 feet. First half of February snowfall was no more than a foot in Summit County but about 2 feet farther west. 1.5 to 2 feet of snow fell during the second half of February. The first half of March was spectacular, dumping 6-7 feet of snow over the whole region. About a foot fell during the second half of March and 3-4 feet during April. With 3+ feet of May snowfall Breckenridge was open through June 2 and A-Basin (at least 79% open daily to June 1) was open weekends until July 4.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Steamboat

59

67

70

62

68

41

367

99%

Vail

71.5

52.5

67.5

45.5

95

36.5

368.5

104%

Copper Mt.

58

42

39

31

98

38

306

110%

Loveland

88

44

68

34

108

50

392

114%

Winter Park

52

44

59

42.5

77.5

45

320

92%

Southern and Western Colorado: Wolf Creek opened October 13 after a 30-inch storm. November's snow was below average, though most of it came late in the month. In December Aspen/Snowmass had 5 feet of snow but there was less than 3 feet farther south. Elsewhere much of the steep terrain was not yet open. Wolf Creek had a 4 foot base, but base depths averaged 3 feet elsewhere. Most of the Southwest had 1+ foot of snow during Christmas Week and 2-3 feet during the first half of January, with 5 feet at Wolf Creek. About half of Crested Butte's North Face opened the first weekend of January and most of the rest later in January. Taos opened Kachina Peak Jan. 16, closed it after an avalanche the next day and reopened it in early February. Most of the region got 3 feet of snow during the second half of January and 2-3+ feet during the first half of February. All areas got at least 3 feet during the second half of February, but Purgatory and Wolf Creek got over twice as much. This was the standout region for the first half of March, with 9 feet at Wolf Creek, 7 feet in the rest of southern Colorado and 4 feet in New Mexico. 1+ foot of snow fell in the second half of March and another 1+ foot in early April.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Snowmass

41

50

60

66

95

32

344

117%

Crested Butte

39

23

60

57

79

25

283

111%

Wolf Creek

76

37

90

145

136

24

508

131%

Taos

16

39

35

55

57

35

237

93%

Northeast: Killington and Sunday River opened on snowmaking October 19. November through Thanksgiving was much colder than normal with some snow. Thus open terrain at Thanksgiving was similar to a week into December of an average year. 2-3 feet of late November snow brought open terrain to record highs for Dec. 1 across the Northeast with many areas also setting November snowfall records. Rain on Dec. 2 cut most trail counts by half but there was recovery over the next two weeks with ensuing cold weather, particularly in northern Vermont with 2+ feet of new snow. Unfortunately another major rain Dec. 21 slashed trail counts again going into the holidays. There was some mixed precipitation during the holiday week. 2-3 feet of snow during the second week of January opened most terrain. Despite one minor episode of mixed precipitation, the second half of January was excellent, with 3 feet of snow in most areas and 4-5 feet in the northern half of Vermont. After the first weekend of February there was a week of rain/freeze, cutting back trial counts. 2-3 feet of snow restored full operation for the last two weekends of February. Conditions remained good until rain March 15 and ensuing cooling temporarily reduced trail counts. During the second half of March there was 2 feet of new snow but also some rain. Early April has brought some snow but also more rain. Despite heavy April rain, Killington and Mont St. Sauveur remain open through May.

Area

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Total

Pct. of Normal

Jay (mid)

65

53

108

54

60.5

18.5

359

111%

Stowe

77

35

96

39

50

11

308

101%

Killington

56

18

63

41

30

11

219

91%

Whiteface

40

24

70

29

45

5

213

115%

Le Massif

57.9

12.6

79.9

56.7

24.8

18.5

250.4

107%

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