Mt. Baker Ski Area likely to open this week

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 18, 2013 

Mt. Baker Ski Area could open as early as Thursday, Nov. 21, after a series of storms dumped snow in the mountains.

A decision is expected Tuesday morning on when the slopes will open for the season.

The ski area up Mount Baker Highway usually opens around Thanksgiving; last year its opening day was Nov. 21.

As of Monday morning, more than 3 feet of snow had accumulated on Pan Dome, while about 26 inches of base was at Heather Meadows, according to the ski area’s website. That’s just shy of what’s needed to open, said operations manager Gwyn Howat.

But more snow was coming down Monday, with about 10 more inches expected at higher elevations by Tuesday morning. That could be enough to open up at least some runs.

Crews were out Monday grooming snow and setting up.

“We’re certainly doing everything we can to get ready,” Howat said.

The snow was expected to end Tuesday morning, followed by subfreezing temperatures in the mountains for the next few days, according to the National Weather Service. Another round of snow could come next weekend.

For updates on the ski area, go to mtbaker.us.

What was snow in the mountains amounted to heavy rain in the Bellingham area. The rain is expected to end by Tuesday afternoon, but temperatures will drop as skies clear. Expect nights around freezing and daytime highs in the low 40s over the next few days.

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