By Lu Snyder
As a child, I dreamed of a white Christmas, big fat flakes falling gently like those in a snow globe. Now that I live in a virtual Christmas card, I dream of white all winter long. I know I am not alone in this.
Though Santa stopped bringing me presents decades ago, that feeling of magic and pure joy returns to me each time it snows. After a bit of a bust of a winter last year, this winter’s early snow has been extra reason to celebrate. November opened with an early storm that covered the mountain in white several weeks before opening day and the storms have rolled in regularly since.
According to Joel Gratz, best known for his website, OpenSnow (the place to go for snow data, including snow reports, forecasts, snowpack information, webcams and more), and his Colorado powder forecasts, Copper’s snowpack is nearly 140 percent of average for this time of year.
In November alone, Copper received 58 inches of snow – almost triple that of November 2017 (20 inches) and more than double that of 2016 (26 inches). Thanks to the early snow, patrol was able to drop the ropes on much of its terrain by opening day. As 2018 comes to an end, Copper has 81 percent more trails and 83 percent more acres (that’s more than 1,500 acres!) open than this time last year, almost twice as many lifts open and more than double the natural snow.
“It was definitely a strong start to the season,” says Gratz who has partnered with Copper Mountain this season to offer Copper Mountain Daily Snow, a short “what you need to know” forecast for the upcoming week on the mountain.
We asked Gratz if the early season snow could foretell anything else about the coming season. Unfortunately, he says, forecasts more than a week out are highly unreliable. “Early season snowfall – whether it’s good or bad – has very little correlation with the rest of the season,” he explains.
Even on the best seasons, Colorado is notorious for dry spells. That said, the holiday week looks favorable for the soft stuff. Snow fell gently all day on Christmas Eve, following a couple storms from the previous week. Another storm is predicted to arrive Christmas night through Wednesday night. And there is promise of more snow next week.
“Even if not all the storms pan out to be big, that’s still quite a bit of action,” Gratz says.
Whether or not you believe in Santa or celebrate Christmas, we hope you find the magic and child-like glee of this season of snow.