Areas all across the Mountain West, from Colorado's Front Range to Eastern Idaho, have seen their first real snowfall of the 2018-2019 season in the last week.
It’s an optimistic sign for the region’s ski industry, even as that major economic driver worries about the long-term effects of a warming world.
Chad Gimmestad, Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service in Boulder, Colorado, said it’s very early, but storms in the last week have put much of the mountain states at 150 or 200% of normal snowpack totals.
Some parts of Idaho and Utah are even three or four times normal snowfall amounts.
“In the scheme of the whole winter, it’s not much, but it is a good start,” Gimmestad said. “For recreational purposes . . . ski areas and backcountry skiers, whoever’s waiting for that snowpack to arrive, it’s starting to get there.”
This is an El Nino year, which Gimmestad said usually means relatively normal snowfall for more southern states like Colorado and Utah, and typically dryer winters for northern states like Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
Find reporter Dan Boyce on Twitter @BoyceDan .
Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.