Ski resorts' business runs entirely on the abundance of snow. But what is the plan when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate?
Technology has advanced enough to allow them to create artificial snow - padding Mother Nature's bounty to the delight of skiers and snowboarders everywhere.
Anna Cole, communications manager at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, Wyo., said, "The technological advances in snow-making have really helped the ski industry be able to stick to open days that they have published."
Arching turns on a sunny Jackson Hole day. Credit: Flickr/Jackson Hole Central Reservations
But to create the snow, three elements are still needed: low temperatures, water and compressed air.
For ideal snow-making, temperatures need to be below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
"You can make snow at 28 degrees or cooler, but that is not the ideal temperature to make snow. The colder, the better," Cole explained.
When the temperatures are optimal, water is fed through snow guns which utilize compressed air to create snow. Skiers may notice some slight differences in the artificial snow as compared to natural snowfall.
"You can definitely tell the difference. [Artificial snow] holds moisture differently. Sometimes it will get scratchier. It will get icier than natural snow," Cole said.
Differences aside, creating artificial snow allows skiers to get a jump-start before the first snowfall and optimize their time on the slopes. The main purpose of these snow guns is to create a base in the early ski season - late October to January for Western resorts.
When conditions are ideal during these times, Cole said, "We are blowing snow 24 hours a day."
A snow gun. Credit: Flickr/Tim in Sydney
After January ends, the ski resorts usually have enough natural snow to sustain the base for the rest of the ski season.
Looking forward, Cole hopes snow-making will become an ever greater asset to Jackson Hole.
"There has been tons of innovations in terms of efficiency and how they've automated these very complex systems. We've invested significantly in our snow-making systems over the past few years and will continue to do so."
Due to their snow making capabilities, the Western Jackson Hole Ski Resort will be opening on Thanksgiving Day this year.
Those looking to traveling or spending the bank holiday outdoors across the United Kingdom will face bouts of rain and wind, but dry conditions will follow by midweek.
Rounds of rain will bring good news for unusually dry portions of the northeastern United States to start May.
Residents of the southeastern United States may feel like the calendar has flipped ahead to Memorial Day weekend with warm and muggy weather in place for the start of May.
A stormy pattern will persist across the western Gulf Coast into early May, threatening to renew the risk of flooding from Texas to Mississippi through at least Monday.
A late-April snowstorm dumped over a foot of heavy, wet snow across parts of Colorado on Thursday into Friday, boosting snowpack for an extended ski season at local resorts.
May Day festivities across northern Germany will have dry and milder weather while rain threatens to dampen areas farther to the south.
New England (1854)
Great New England flood. Steady rain for 66 hours -- crest at Hartford 28', 10-1/2", highest ever known to that time, but exceeded in 1936.
Cape Lookout (1883)
Storm tide swept over island, drowning sheep and cattle.
Unusually late coating of snow in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.