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Dec 6, 2012 7:16 PM by John Patrick

Ski Valley slopes still a little rocky

SUMMERHAVEN, Ariz. - If you're waiting to break out the ski gear it's going to be a little while longer for Arizona residents.

Ski destinations like Ski Valley atop Mt Lemmon haven't seen snow since mid November and the slopes are still dirt brown. With the warm temperatures people aren't heading up the mountains to see the snow, rather, they're just trying to enjoy some cooler weather.

The chairlifts are in motion and even though they aren't taking skiers to the top of the runs Graham Davies, SKi Valley manager, says they're still seeing plenty of business.

Davies explains, "Right around the holidays and Thanksgiving time there are a lot of families in town so we get a lot of out of town visitors. So we're staying busy."

The three major ski destinations in Arizona remain closed to skiing while they wait for that first big winter storm. An average snowfall for Ski Valley is one hundred and seventy five inches a year and with a total of just a few inches, which is long gone, there is no official opening date in sight. Despite the lack of snow to start the season Davies says it's not uncommon to see grassy slopes this time of year.

"We like to open with around eighteen inches to two feet. Somewhere in there," describes Davies.

According to News 4 Tucson's Chief Meteorologist Rob Guarino the second half of the month looks little cooler and little more damp which is welcome news to Arizona ski resort.
With just one major winter storm Ski Valley will be on the right path to get the slopes open to skiers.

For your full forecast visit http://www.kvoa.com/weather/ and for an official winter outlook check out the Climate Prediction Center here.

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