Report from Ski Portillo Website- “According to our current snow conditions and after an evaluation of the weather forecasts for the coming days, Ski Portillo has decided to postpone the start of the 2015 season to Saturday, July 4th”
As ski season gets off to a roaring start in New Zealand, Chile is experiencing an unseasonably dry beginning to winter. Chile, whose climate resembles that of California, is starting to feel like Tahoe locals felt this past winter—snow depressed. Currently many of the ski areas in Chile have pushed back their opening dates.
With no snow in the forecast, Chile may be experiencing one of its worst winters in history.
As of now, the capitol of Chile, Santiago has only received 1.2cm of rain this year, which is 86% less than their normal totals and with the current El Niño trend, the Chilean drought is unusual. Normally an El Niño trend in the Pacific brings above-average snowfall to the west coast of South America and so far, there is no snow at resorts across northern Chile.
What that means for Chilean ski areas is man-made and only man-made snow for the time being. Also, without a large snowfall in the immediate future, ski areas will continue to feel the pressure of a drought stricken winter. As of now Portillo, Valle Nevado, El Colorado, and La Parva are all waiting for their first snowfall of the year so they can start running lifts.
It might be time to burn some skis down there guys…