SNOQUALMIE PASS - Recent storms just brought 18 inches of new snow to Snoqualmie Pass ski areas. That's not just good news - it's very good news following data released by the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that tracks snow pack from around much of the West.
The NRCS report shows that the Snoqualmie Pass area was running from 30 to 50 percent below normal based on electronic snow monitors (snotel data) from the pass region. Elsewhere around the state, Cascade snow pack was running 11 to 30 percent below normal, and in the Olympics and north central part of the state below 50% of normal.
It's been a wacky year for skiing in Washington.For Greg Whittaker, who owns and manages Mountain to Sound Outfitters, it's a challenging season, especially when the closest popular ski areas at Snoqualmie Pass only began opening on January 10, a month behind normal.
"January was really tough for the ski industry," he said.
But if the snow keeps coming, is it enough to boost business?
"You keep being positive and keep skiing and keep being positive, and keep people stoked on it," he said. "So if they want to get up here, they will."
The Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Associations says the season looks like 2008-2009 that saw a slow start followed by lots of snow in February.