Warm weather already melting profits of Utah’s ski industry

Posted at 10:52 PM, Nov 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-25 11:32:21-05

SNOWBIRD, Utah -- Friday night Snowbird sent out a tweet saying despite their best efforts warm weather is forcing a "delay of game" and putting a hold on skiing. There’s not a lot of snow and it’s too warm to make it so they’re temporarily suspending winter operations.

The Salt Lake City National Weather Service says we’re feeling an extra 15-20 degrees this fall and it’s reaching records.

“In Salt Lake City we tied for our warmest Thanksgiving on record," said Randy Graham, meteorologist with the Salt Lake City office of the National Weather Service.  "The other time we were on 65 degrees for Thanksgiving was in 1910 so a really significant warm day for Thanksgiving.”

As the warm weather sticks around for Black Friday,  instead of hitting the shops outdoor enthusiasts are hitting the trails.

“I had a jacket on initially and then it got really warm so we had to take it off,” said Kathy Boben who spent the Friday hiking.

It’s something many Utahns can't remember doing this late in November.  “No, no this is unbelievable,” said Pat Hopkins who was hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

While the parking lots at the trail heads are packed -- up at the ski resorts there’s not a lot of cars or a lot of snow.

How does this compare to past years?  On this day three years ago, Fox 13’s Kiersten Nunez was at Alta but for a much different story.  She was surrounded by several feet of snow on November 24, 2014 reporting about how fresh powder and strong winds caused an avalanche near Alta that forced the resort to shut down in the middle of the day.

Now the lifts aren’t running because they haven’t even opened up for the season.

“If you weren't thinking global warming you can think it now,” Hopkins said.

Meteorologists say this weekend will see record highs but the temperature will start to cool down next week.