Only 1/5 of the U.S. covered by snow

Only 1/5 of the U.S. covered by snow

Only 1/5 of the U.S. covered by snow

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by Associated Press, KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 3:34 PM

PORTLAND, Maine -- The weather pattern that left many states with a brown Christmas is sticking around in the new year. And that's bad news for winter sports enthusiasts.

Officials said on Thursday only 19 percent of the nation is covered in snow. Last year on this date, nearly half the U.S. was covered in snow.

Here in Washington, it's a similar story. A few snow days have given the ski resorts a base, but there have been only smatterings of snow since. At Snoqualmie Pass, only 2 inches of snow has fallen in the last 48 hours, and both Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain have received 3 inches of new snow.

Click here for the latest ski reports from around the Northwest

Unseasonable weather also means frozen ponds and outdoor ice-skating rinks are turning slushy in Minnesota. In Maine, popular snowmobile trails are lacking the key ingredient. And in Reno, Nev., there wasn't a scintilla of snow in December. It'll be around 50 degrees this weekend.

In Maine, Terry Hill says her rental cabins near Baxter State Park are empty because there's no snow for snowmobilers. She says it's "nerve-racking" waiting for the snow.

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