US ski season forecast: Here's where you'll find the best conditions this winter

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
October 12, 2018, 7:28:10 AM EDT

As the autumn season begins to lay a chill over much of the United States, it won't be long before winter sports enthusiasts are itching to hit the slopes.

Unfortunately for many, not all ski resorts will reap winter's rewards during the upcoming season.

Across the eastern U.S., ski season may get off to a slow start thanks to above-normal temperatures forecast through December.

US ski forecast

Snowfall will be scarce early on and mild nights will exacerbate problems for resorts which may struggle to make man-made powder.

However, the forecast will improve into January and February with a surge of Arctic cold predicted.

This will make creating man-made snow easier and increase the likelihood for big snow events.

Currently, the AccuWeather long-range forecasting team team favors northeastern Pennsylvania into New England for the best late-winter snow.

"Areas south and west may end up on the drier side of storms," Vido said.

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Meanwhile, on the West Coast, it will be a mixed bag this year.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said: “A deep connection to moisture over the Pacific is expected to bring increased storminess and mountain snow from Central California to southern parts of Oregon this winter.”

This will bring favorable ski conditions to resorts in the central and northern Sierra Nevada and also the southern Cascades.

Forecasters predict January into the early part of February to be the most active period for stormy weather in these regions.

Resorts will have the opportunity to build up a significant snowpack, which could deliver good conditions all the way into March.

Skiiers and snowboarders won’t be quite as lucky in the Four Corners region.

According to forecasters, there’s less confidence in snowy conditions in this area as it may miss out on the connection to the Pacific moisture.

Vido said: “Warmer-than-normal and drier conditions could reduce the quantity of natural snow and bring more episodes of snow melt."

"This could impact some of the busy Colorado resorts,” he said.

Farther north, over Wyoming and Montana, dry spells may reduce the frequency of snowfall during the beginning and end of the season.

However, an active mid-winter storm track may make up for deficiencies in other months, Vido said.

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