Posted on October 24, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
So many snowflakes, so many mysteries …
Proteins found to remove heat and order water molecules
More Summit Voice snow stories
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Snowmakers at Colorado ski areas have long known that some species of bacteria can help the process of crystal formation, so they use additives derived from those bacteria to help boost output.
The bacteria’s outer membranes include special proteins that help ice crystals form. That helps the bacteria trigger frost formation at warmer than normal temperatures on plants, enabling them to invade through the frost-damaged tissue. When the bacteria die, many of the proteins are wafted up into the atmosphere, where they can alter the weather by seeding clouds and precipitation. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, Snow and weather | Tagged: Environment, snow, snow formation, snowmaking | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Not all natural …
Buffalo Mountain from the Frisco Nordic Center at dawn.
FRISCO — As it started to get light Thursday morning I glanced out the kitchen window and noticed a thick layer of low-lying fog over part of Frisco Bay. That seemed a bit unusual since the reservoir has been frozen over for a few weeks, and the fog generally stops forming after the ice thickens up. So after getting my son off to school, I jumped in the car and headed up Highway 9 toward Breckenridge. It didn’t take long to discover the source of the fog. The snow-making machines at the Frisco Nordic Center and tubing hill were going all out, and with an atmospheric inversion in place, the frozen mists from the nozzles were being pushed down and out across the Reservoir. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, Morning photo, photography, Snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Frisco Nordic Center, photography, Snake River, snowmaking, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 16, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Massive Snake River snowmaking diversions means tough times for trout after drought summer
This year’s snowpack is well below average and tracking just barely above last year’s.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The most recent snowstorm helped boost the overall Colorado snowpack just a bit, bringing it on par with last year’s level at this time, which is still well below average for mid-November. Statewide, the snowpack was at 57 percent of average, as of Nov. 15, with most West Slope basins between 50 and 60 percent of average. Even the North Platte drainage, which has seen some significant snows in the Never Summer Range, is only at 64 percent of average.
In Summit and Eagle counties, many streams are flowing at or below historic low levels, creating challenges for some ski areas that rely on direct stream diversions for snowmaking. Keystone, for example, has had to dial back its snow guns several times in the past week as the Snake River dropped to a flow of just six cubic feet per second, the minimum required under state regulations. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, Keystone, Ski Resorts, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather, US Forest Service, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, CWCB instream flows, Denver Water, Roberts Tunnel, Snake River, snowmaking, Trout, water | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 1, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Shot of cold air from Canada expected mid-week; lows Wednesday and Thursday could dip into the teens
Cold air from Canada is poised to spill into the center of the country during the coming week.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In what sounds like good news for ski resorts eager to start making snow, the National Weather Service is forecasting a strong cold front to drop out of Canada mid-week, with overnight lows dropping into the teens and 20s starting Wednesday night.
That’s plenty cold to fire up the snow guns, which have already been moved into position at Arapahoe Basin and Loveland, the two resorts that traditionally compete for opening day honors. Starting Wednesday, nighttime lows should stay well below freezing, especially at the higher elevations. (more…)
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, climate and weather, Colorado, Ski Resorts, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, Colorado ski area snowmaking, Loveland, snowmaking, weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 11, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Snow was part of the weekend news, as Loveland and A-Basin fired up their snowmaking systems after cooler temps brought a dusting of snow to the area.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Quick links to the Summit Voice weekend headlines, with interesting stories from the Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop, coverage of the global 10/10/10 events to cap heat-trapping carbon dioxide at 350 parts per million and much more. Click the headlines to read the story and share them with the social media buttons at the bottom of each post.
Dust storms implicated in Colorado avalanches
Worldwide rallies held to combat global warming
This land is your land – but not for dumping trash
CDOW to restore popular Grand Mesa trout fishery
Summit Rotarians visit the Climax Mine
Morning photo: Change of seasons
Snowmaking under way in Colorado
State-record 43-lb. catfish caught in Aurora Reservoir
Massive crop failures more likely with global warming
Avalanche pros pow-wow at Leadville workshop
Filed under: Environment, recreation, ski industry, Ski Resorts, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: avalanches, Environment, global warming, snowmaking, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Summit County skiing, Summit Voice weekend headlines | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 9, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Early morning, Oct. 8 at Copper Mountain, where the overnight snow reached nearly to the valley floor. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
And the race is on …
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Loveland fired up its snowmaking system early Friday morning to get a jump start on the annual race to open. A cold front passing through the area brought temperatures down into the 20s, and the forecast calls for the cool weather to linger at least through the middle of next week, which should give both Loveland and A-Basin a chance to lay down at least a few inches of base.
A-Basin COO Alan Henceroth wrote in his blog that his snowmaking crews are also standing by, waiting for the wet bulb temperature to drop to 28 degrees. The wet bulb temperature is the combination of temperature and relative humidity, he explains. For example, if the thermometer reads 32 degrees, and the relative humidity is 60 percent, it adds up to the right conditions for snowmaking.
Here’s YouTube video clip from Loveland. Time to wax ‘em up.
Filed under: Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado 2010-2011 ski season, Colorado snowmaking, Loveland ski area snowmaking, snowmaking, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Summit County skiing | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 23, 2009 by Bob Berwyn
Snowguns blasted at Copper Mountain recently as the resort geared up for an early season snowboard competition.
Local resorts use millions of gallons of water to lay down a good skiing base for the holidays, and while snowmaking efficiency has increased, some environmental concerns remain
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Mother Nature hasn’t been overly generous with snowfall yet, but the four ski areas in Summit County have all been able to open good chunks of terrain largely with the help of snowmaking.
Covering runs with enough snow for skiing and building features in terrain parks requires significant amounts of water. The latest figures compiled by state water officials show that Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and Keystone have diverted about 1,477 acre feet (481 million gallons) of water from local streams and reservoirs for seasonal snowmaking operations. (more…)
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Breckenridge, Colorado, Colorado ski areas, Environment, minimum stream flows, News, public lands, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, snow, snowboarding, snowmaking, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, U.S. Forest Service, water | 1 Comment »