FLAGSTAFF, AZ — It's tough to ski or snowboard with no snow, which is why Arizona Snowbowl has delayed its opening day until the weather cooperates and brings some fresh powder or it becomes cold enough to make enough artificial snow.
Arizona Snowbowl was planning to open some of its initial runs for the season on Friday, November 19, but announced Monday that due to the unseasonably warm temperatures — and no snow — the opening would be delayed until further notice.
"While we know you are looking forward to some powder-covered slopes this year, we want nothing more than your visit to be as enjoyable as possible, and due to the unusually warm temperatures this season, our scheduled opening day will be delayed until further notice," the ski mountain said in an email statement.
"As temperatures continue to drop, we'll continue to work with mother nature to produce snow so you can hit the slopes as soon as possible!"
”Mother nature is just not helping us out,” said Rob Linde, general manager of Arizona Snowbowl, who added that a couple of days of freezing temperatures would allow them to start making their own snow, which would provide a base layer to some of their trails.
“It’s not a day-by-day thing, it’s more of a week-by-week thing,” he said.
Unfortunately, there is no snow in the forecast for at least the next week and temperatures will primarily stay above freezing, said ABC15 Chief Meteorologist Amber Sullins.
Overnight temperatures could briefly drop below freezing (below 32º), but it won't be freezing for long enough to keep any snow they make intact, she said. Temperatures are much warmer than normal for this time of year and that is expected to be the case heading into winter, too.
While we may get a few storms cold enough to drop snow this winter, the overall outlook is warmer and drier than normal as La Niña keeps the storm track farther north.
Not too surprising considering the weather forecasts, but with no snow yet, @AZSnowbowl has delayed its opening day "until further notice."— Josh Frigerio, ABC15 (@JoshFrigerio) November 15, 2021
It was hoping to open for the season this Friday, Nov. 19.
Here is a screenshot from one of Snowbowl's webcams up there. pic.twitter.com/zEV4xaAbcu
Linde said they installed their own snow-making machines about five years ago, which have the range to cover 65% of the trails at Arizona Snowbowl, according to its website.
This is the second time since then that they've had to delay opening due to no snow, said Linde. But, he's hopeful to be open before the Thanksgiving weekend, which is less than two weeks away.
”I feel comfortable that we’ll be able to open for Thanksgiving. I don’t think it’s devastating by any stretch for the local economy,” he said.
Those who purchased lift tickets or booked rentals for opening day and weekend, should receive an email with a link to make changes, exchanges, or to receive a credit, Arizona Snowbowl said.
When the ski hill does open for the season, the number of hills that will be open will be dependent on the weather and the amount of snow. Beginner trails are "unlikely" to be open on opening day, whenever that it ultimately announced, Arizona Snowbowl said in its email.
Sunrise Park Resort in Greer, Arizona, another popular ski hill in northeastern Arizona, is currently scheduled to open for the season on Dec. 3, 2021.