A few Inland Northwest ski hills plan to open this weekend – if the weather cooperates. Forecasts, however, indicate that a significant snowfall may not fall in time.
“They’re being optimistic,” said John Werner, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “There’s nothing really strong on tap for a good snow producer, just showers.”
Lookout Pass Ski Area had hoped for a Thanksgiving opening, but decided Wednesday that not enough snow materialized in the morning.
“We were snowing all the way until 10 a.m., but it turned to rain,” said Lookout’s marketing director, Jim Schreiber.
Last year, early snow allowed Lookout to open in mid-November.
Managers will decide today if skiing can start Friday.
“You never know,” Schreiber said. “You can’t predict.”
Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park and 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort still were holding out for weekend openings.
“We still need a good dumping,” said Brad McQuarrie, Mt. Spokane’s general manager. “We’re hopeful for this weekend. We’re always hopeful.”
Silver Mountain ski area and Schweitzer Mountain Resort officials said they would not open for skiing until later next week.
Ski resort officials recommend checking their ski area Web sites or calling their snow lines for the most up-to-date opening information.
Werner said that a cold front should come through the area late this morning. Unfortunately for skiers, there won’t be much moisture until Friday night and Saturday morning.
That system could bring the first snow (an inch or less) to Spokane but only 2 to 4 inches in the mountains.
It’s not the forecast Werner prefers.
“I’ve got a season pass,” Werner said. “I’ve got to start using it.”