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Snowmaking has started at the ski resorts!

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Arapahoe Basin Snowmaking 2020
Posted at 9:41 AM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 11:41:44-04

Get hyped skiers and snowboarders, 3 ski areas in Colorado now have their snow guns firing!

Arapahoe Basin was the first to start making snow on September 28th, followed by Copper Mountain on September 29th, and finally Keystone on October 6th!

According to Bill LeClair, snowmaking manager for A Basin ski area, snowmaking will be intermittent until we hit a colder snap. Even at Arapahoe Basin's high elevation, the nights have been mild for the mountains and there's only been a night or two of great snow production.

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Snowmaking operations kicked off on September 29th. The resort is getting things going for the 2020/2021 season.

Not only are snow makers looking for a cold night, they're monitoring something called the Wet Bulb Temperature.

The wet bulb temperature is a combination of the relative humidity and the ambient air temperature. If the air is really dry, the air can hold more water vapor, and the temperature will actually get colder from some of that water evaporates. The magic number for firing up the snow guns is around 26° F.

Arapahoe Basin Snowmaking 2020

Snow guns will help ski areas get to opening day faster, but they're going to need a lot of help from mother nature. The rule of thumb to open a ski trail is to get to an 18" base and then rely on natural snow to take over.

Arapahoe Basin and Keystone both have the second weekend in November as their targets for opening day, while Copper Mountain will likely wait until the end of the month.