Ski patrollers ride the Hooter Chairlift as they work at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Ski patrollers ride the Hooter Chairlift as they work at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Where’s the snow? Warm weather to keep most of Eaglecrest closed this weekend

Oh no! Low snow!

Eaglecrest Ski Area will open for the second-consecutive weekend, but only operate one of its three chairlifts.

Porcupine Chairlift will run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, said Eaglecrest Marketing Manager Charlie Herrington Thursday afternoon by phone.

The mountain’s snowpack levels have dipped over the last three days. As of early Thursday afternoon, there are seven inches of snow at the mountain base, and 25 at the top of Ptarmigan Chair. Those totals stood at 15 and 31 inches, respectively, on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, temps warmed up, we got some rain, and the snowpack got shallower, ” Herrington said. “The conditions are super tough right now, and the snow depths aren’t deep enough groom with the snowcats or fill in problem areas.”

It’s not just Eaglecrest that is snow bankrupt. The Juneau International Airport is also hurting for new flakes and on pace to set a new low-snowfall mark for October-December. In the past two and a half months, NWS has recorded just 1.3 inches of snowfall at the airport, 4.3 inches behind the record three-month low of 5.6 inches set in 2000.

Kimberly Vaughan, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Juneau, said mild winter conditions will likely stick around for at least the next week.

“We’re staying all in the 30s for highs and lows, so pretty mild,” Vaughan said Thursday.

Vaughan said night-time temperatures have been cold enough for snow. But that snow quickly melts by morning, “unless we have real heavy snow amounts, which we’re not expecting,” she said.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


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