Sensitivity of Northwest ski areas to warming


Mote, P.W., Casson, J., Hamlet, A.F., Reading, D.C. 2008. Sensitivity of Northwest ski areas to warming. pp 63-67, in B. McGurk (ed.), Proceedings of the 75th Western Snow Conference, April 16-19, 2007, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Soda Springs, CA: Western Snow Conference.


We examine USDA snow course data for ski areas during the ski season to determine the degree to which midwinter snow is statistically sensitive to temperature. For most the 16 Northwest ski areas analyzed here, a reasonable strong negative partial correlation of mid-season snow depth with antecedent temperature indicates that further warming will have an impact on the quantity of snow. The effects of these physical changes on the profitability of a given ski area will depend in part on the adaptive capacity of the ski area.