The recent stretch of warm weather has made much of Iowa’s snow disappear. The white stuff is still plentiful in a few places though, like at the regional ski resorts. Dubuque’s Sundown Mountain reports more than four feet of man-made snow and 22 trails open for skiing and snowboarding.
Sundown spokesman Mark Dietz says mild conditions are better for beginners. “It’s a lot nicer to learn instead of when it’s zero and the wind’s blowing,” Dietz says. “The warm weather has its plus side, that being, it is more comfortable than what we could normally have here, which is much, much colder than this.”
Just across the Mississippi River in Galena, Illinois, Stuart Stoffregen is the marketing director at Chestnut Mountain. Stoffregen says it would take temperatures in the 50s and 60s for a couple of weeks before they would have to shut down.
“Being in the Midwest, you have to rely on technology and our snow-making is very top notch,” Stoffregen. “When it was colder a couple of weeks ago, we made piles and piles of snow. We have well over 50-some inches on the hill. Right now, the snow is a little bit softer but it’s still great for skiing and snowboarding.”
Iowa normally sees 60-degree days in January once in a decade. Last month, many cities hit 60 on four separate days, with some reaching 70. Still, forecasters say the cold weather is returning with the chance of snow on Friday night and Saturday.