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Flurries of natural and man-made snow combine on Brian Head as season opening approaches

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Nov 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-05 09:12:53-05

BRIAN HEAD, Utah – Recent storms have brought several inches of snow to Brian Head ski resort, but with opening day just 16 days away, crews are relying on more than just Mother Nature to cover the slopes.

Resort managers have placed 50 snow guns throughout the mountain to create a strong snow base. Mountain manager Mac Hatch said it’s a round-the-clock operation to have between 12 and 18 inches of snow on the base before opening day.

“The benefit to the snow we’re getting right now,” Hatch said. “It’ll cool down the ground temperature so that the snow that we’re making will stick.”

It’s an exact science, calculating the wet bulb temperature, getting the water pressure right, and pointing the guns in the right direction. The guns will run 24 hours a day, temperatures permitting. It’s a goal that the entire town is relying on.

“It’s a trickle down effect, if we have a good ski season it really trickles down into our summer season,” said town council member Reece Wilson. “And is really the foundation of what we need as a town to grow.”

Weather forecasts are predicting a strong El Nino winter, meaning above average snowfall, but Hatch said they can’t guarantee those predictions, which is why they’re taking measures into their own hands.

“Lets hope we have an El Nino,” said Hatch. “Lets hope the storms come every Thursday and everybody can ski on freshies on the weekend.”

Brian Head Mountain Resort plans to open November 20.