The first snowfall of the season at Eaglecrest Ski Area on a service road. (Courtesy photo | Charlie Herrington)

The first snowfall of the season at Eaglecrest Ski Area on a service road. (Courtesy photo | Charlie Herrington)

Eaglecrest hit with first snowfall

Winter outlook neutral but leans warm, forecasters say

Termination dust — the powdery snowfall that indicates the end of summer — can now be seen on mountaintops around Juneau, signaling the slow crawl toward winter.

There’s no snowfall yet in the forecast for lower elevations, National Weather Service forecasters say, and early indications are this winter will be about average for temperature and precipitation, if not a bit warm and wet. But Eaglecrest Ski Area has already received its first snowfall of the season, employees say.

The first flakes fell overnight from Thursday to Friday, said Charlie Herrington, who runs the ski area’s newsletter.

Shortly after arriving at work Friday, Herrington and another employee drove about halfway up the runs served by Black Bear Chairlift before about two inches of snow forced them to turn around, he told the Empire. Herrington estimated that three inches fell at the highest elevations of the ski area.

The National Weather Service hasn’t yet recorded any snowfall at Eaglecrest’s base or at any of their weather stations in the Juneau area, forecaster Edward Liske told the Empire on Saturday. The average first measurable snowfall at the bottom of the ski area comes on Nov. 1, Liske said. At weather stations around Juneau, those dates vary from Nov. 1 to Nov. 9.

The outlook for December, January and February is leaning toward an El Niño year, Liske said, meaning there’s a higher chance of a warmer and wetter than normal winter.

But climate indications are mostly neutral and El Niño effects aren’t predicted to be strong this year, Liske added, at least not at this point.

Eaglecrest Ski Area’s opening day is scheduled for Dec. 1. Employees are making fast progress on an extension of water lines for their snowmaking system, Herrington said, which could help keep the ski area open for more days in a low-snow year.

Season pass prices go up on Oct. 14 at midnight, and the ski swap is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3 at Centennial Hall.

By the Numbers:

Average date and earliest and latest first measurable snowfall around Juneau:

(Data from the National Weather Service based on varying data histories)

Auke Bay

Average first snowfall: Nov. 5

Earliest: Sept. 30 (1974)

Latest: Dec. 14 (2002)

Airport

Average first snowfall: Nov. 4

Earliest: Oct. 2 (2000)

Latest: Dec. 14 (2002)

Back Loop

Average first snowfall: Nov. 1

Earliest: Sept. 26 (1908)

Latest: Dec. 16 (1992)

Downtown

Average first snowfall: Nov. 9

Earliest: Sept. 30 (1974)

Latest: Dec. 16 (1992)

Lena Point

Average first snowfall: Nov. 9

Earliest: Oct. 16 (2016)

Latest: Dec. 14 (2002)

More in Home

A lamb-decorated headstone lays half hidden in a cemetery section in Douglas on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Shaky deals from past haunt efforts to preserve Douglas cemeteries today

As volunteers struggle to clear brush at historic sites, city leaders say they have limited options.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef (30) heads in a goal against Ketchikan during the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
JDHS boys soccer team earns ice cream and region title with sweep of visiting Ketchikan

Crimson Bears’ Monsef, Mallott seal senior night win over Kings.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior battery Lamar Blatnick (catcher) and Landon Simonson (pitcher) bump fists on the mound with teammates as they begin their final home game at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Crimson Bears honor seniors with Saturday diamond sweep over Falcons

JDHS’ Blatnick, Simonson pitch complete game wins against TMHS.

Students and staff play a kickball game on the field between the Marie Drake Building and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Friday afternoon. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders debate biggest needs for extra $5.2M approved by Legislature, in hope governor won’t veto it

Staff for special education and gifted students, homeschooling, paying off city loan high on list.

Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, speaks Wednesday, May 8, on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
After several deadly drownings, Alaska Legislature votes to require harbor safety ladders

Bill by Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, passes on final day of session.

Thunder Mountain High School senior Kasen Ludeman delivers against a Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé batter during the Falcons 4-0 win over the Crimson Bears on Friday at Adair-Kennedy Field. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Falcons’ Ludeman shuts out Crimson Bears

TMHS senior honors classmates in school’s baseball home finale by 3-hitting JDHS.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Kai Ciambor puts a shot past Ketchikan’s Kingston Dell (11), Alex Gilley (1) and Eunchong Lee during the Crimson Bears 4-2 win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Friday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Crimson Bears eat Kings for pre-senior night pitch feast

JDHS boys soccer team one step closer to taking region title from Ketchikan.

Members of the Thunder Mountain High School culinary arts team prepare their three-course meal during the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore on April 26-28. (Photo by Rebecca Giedosh-Ruge)
TMHS culinary arts team serves a meal of kings at national competition

Five students who won state competition bring Alaskan crab and salmon to “Top Chef”-style event.

Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, listens to discussion on the Senate floor on Wednesday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
A look at some of the bills that failed to pass the Alaska Legislature this year

Parts of a long-term plan to bring state revenue and expenses into line again failed to advance.

Most Read