DENVER (AP) – It’s the ski season that won’t quit.
A slow-moving storm that has brought three straight days of snow and high winds to parts of Colorado and Wyoming has also given at least four Colorado ski resorts an excuse to restart their lifts for one more weekend of skiing.
Vail Mountain, Breckenridge Mountain Resort and Copper Mountain Resort held closing day festivities last Sunday, but when it didn’t stop snowing, all three said they will reopen some terrain this Friday through Sunday.
Vail said it’s had 2 more feet of snow since closing day, Breckenridge has had 16 inches, and Copper said it got more than a foot.
“Mother Nature is a fickle business partner, and apparently she wasn’t ready for the ski season to be over,” Copper Mountain general manager Gary Rodgers said in a written statement Tuesday.
Aspen Highlands, which was scheduled to close this Sunday, has already said it would reopen April 27-28.
Winter Park was assessing whether to extend its season past its closing day Sunday, spokeswoman Rachel Anderson said.
The Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski areas traditionally stay open well into the spring. A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth mused this week that his ski area could stay open past June 2 if the snow keeps up.
The storm helped boost mountain snowpack that provides water for farmers and cities through the summer, but it also stranded some drivers.
More snow was falling Wednesday. In Wyoming, it shut down Interstate 25 between the state’s two main cities, Casper and Cheyenne. Departing flights at Denver International Airport were being delayed by deicing; average delays were expected to approach two hours. Travel was expected to be difficult, if not impossible, later in the day on Colorado’s plains as the system moves out of the state. The National Weather Service said wind gusts up to 50 mph could produce blizzard conditions.
The system has also reached into the Dakotas. More than 3 inches fell at the Rapid City airport on Tuesday. Forecasters said the storm could drop as much as 15 inches of snow in western South Dakota by Thursday and lesser but still-significant amounts farther east. Many schools in the Rapid City area closed or started late Wednesday.
The first round of the storm hit Denver on Monday, postponing the opening game of the Colorado Rockies-New York Mets series. The snow held off for much of the afternoon and evening Tuesday, allowing the teams to squeeze in a doubleheader. The weather remained frigid though, and one fan watched with a snowman in the next seat. Jordan Pacheco singled home the winning run and then headed for the sauna to warm up.
Areas to the south have only gotten strong winds from the system, making it easier for wildfires to spread in the dry areas.
In southwest Colorado, the La Plata Electric Association said blustery winds that downed trees and branches were believed to have caused outages that affected hundreds of customers Tuesday.
April is typically the second-snowiest month for Colorado.
The snowpack in both Colorado and Wyoming is below average but has risen in the last week to 77 percent of average overall. The Colorado Basin, which provides water to more than 40 million people in seven western states, is faring even better at 85 percent.
The storm system is expected to pick up speed as it moves east into the Great Lakes on Friday. It should move off the East Coast on Saturday, National Weather Service forecaster Jeff Colton said.
Associated Press writers Bob Moen in Cheyenne, Wyo., Catherine Tsai in Denver and Blake Nicholson in Bismarck, N.D., contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.