North and South Lake Tahoe, Calif. – Nov. 3, 2016 – Lake Tahoe experienced a 400 percent increase in average rainfall for the month of October according to the National Weather Service, culminating in “the second wettest October in recorded history.” The weather is setting up Tahoe’s most consistent and reliable snow surfaces for the rest of the season by soaking the bases at all three resorts. The October precipitation and cold temperatures, combined with recent snowfall, have created an incredible opportunity to begin snowmaking at Heavenly Mountain, Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain Resorts.
Given the West Coast’s most sophisticated, state-of-the-art snowmaking systems, Heavenly and Northstar are better equipped to take advantage of cold temperatures and can adapt quickly and effectively to changes in the weather. And with the most experienced snowmaking teams in the region, both mountains consistently deliver a superior early season snow surface. Kirkwood is already showing why it’s Mother Nature’s preferred target for winter storms, accumulating 12 to 4 inches of snowfall in the month of October, cooling the ground and setting up the base for ideal snowmaking conditions.
The unique weather patterns have our mountain operations teams looking forward to a spectacular season. “With the west coast’s largest snowmaking systems up and running, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood Mountain Resorts are getting ready for another great winter,” said James Grant, vice president of mountain operations at Heavenly Mountain Resort. “The recent storms have helped get things started and, with the addition of snowmaking, we are building an excellent snow base already. After a great season last year, we are eager to get 2016-17 off to an epic start; firing up the snow guns officially rings in the new season.”
There are several benefits to machine-made snow besides a guaranteed full season of skiing. If groomed properly, machine-made snow will maintain its consistency longer than natural snowfall. Using the latest computer technology, resort snowmaking operators constantly monitor the system for changes in air temperature, water pressure, wind direction and other elements critical to making quality snow. When weather changes occur, the crews are alerted instantly and can react to assure the snow quality remains at its best, even on their mobile phones from remote locations.
All three resorts are scheduled to open for the 2016-17 season on Friday, Nov. 18.