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Skiers rejoicing after months of warm and dry weather in Northern California

The 2020-21 ski season is set to begin in a few weeks in Northern California and resorts should expect more snow than rain in the coming weeks.
Credit: ABC10
The forest in NorCal is calling for below average temperatures over the next week.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The 2019-2020 ski season ended abruptly due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and skiers had to watch the final big storms from a distance.

After more than seven months, the 2020-21 ski season is set to begin in a few weeks in Northern California. With the new season comes new safety guidelines to keep skiers and other visitors safe. Resorts are requiring people to wear face coverings indoors, in lift lines, and while riding lift chairs. Resorts are also asking people to physical distance and are limiting capacity in certain areas. Some resorts will also have a reservation system, and others will limit sales. 

Cold air has settled in the area, allowing any new storms to provide snow, rather than rain, to the resorts. While many California resorts are used to heavy wet snow in the beginning of the season to cover the area with a dense base, this season will be different.

Much of the incoming storms will be cold and the snow will be piling up. A La Nina pattern is emerging with a wet Pacific Northwest and colder air frequently diving south.

There will be more than six days over the next 10 days with rain and snow chances, setting up a stormy cold pattern almost up to Thanksgiving. This pattern will allow natural snow, as well as ideal snowmaking conditions, during the dry periods between storms.

Credit: ABC10
A breakdown of opening resorts for skiing.

All ski area opening dates are subject to weather and other changes, but many Sierra resorts are planning for their opening day in the coming weeks prior to Thanksgiving or the weekend after.

The numerous cold storms along with snowmaking should allow resorts to have excellent opening conditions.


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