How do ski areas make snow? Making snow is both a science and an art at resorts these days. There is a lot of technology in snowmaking currently. Some resorts can operate guns or fans remotely with the click of a computer button.
The basics of snowmaking involve compressed air and water which are shot through a gun or a fan and when the mixture hits the ambient air temperature, it crystallizes and falls to the ground as artificial flakes. Low humidity and low temperatures are necessary for making snow. Typically, resorts will make snow when the temperature is 28 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
The Snowmaking Arms Race is an annual event in Colorado where, generally, Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) and Loveland Ski Area battle to be the first resort in North America to open for the season. According to Loveland's website which has a countdown to snowmaking timer on it, they are 3 days away from firing up the guns. A-Basin's COO, Alan Henceforth, posted on his blog that, "it is too early to use the opening word, but we will make that happen just as soon as we can."
One thing is for certain, the 2013-2014 ski season will be here before we know it. Stay tuned for more coverage at the Snowmaking Arms Race heats up while temperatures cool down.