If you live in Colorado, chances are you’ve heard of OpenSnow: a weather forecast source tailor-made for skiers and snowboarders in search of the best snow conditions. For subscribers, OpenSnow offers a detailed breakdown of conditions at ski resorts throughout Colorado and beyond, helping you answer one crucial question: “Where should I ski next?”
According to its website, OpenSnow is “…a group of local weather forecasters who are lifelong skiers and riders.”
Forecasters write “Daily Snow” updates throughout the ski season to steer you toward the best snow conditions. Have a go-to mountain? You can use OpenSnow’s mountain-specific forecasts and snow reports for daily updates on your turf. OpenSnow subscribers also receive news updates pertaining to longer-term predictions, like this year’s Triple Dip La Nina.
OpenSnow also has “Snow Stake Cams” at over 50 ski resorts, so you can get a live look at snow as it accumulates at your favorite resorts around the country! That includes all Summit and Eagle County ski areas (Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort, Copper Mountain, Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Vail Mountain, and Beaver Creek).
Since its inception in 2011, OpenSnow has grown to three million subscribers. Still, it all started with one “weather geek” who used his meteorology degree to determine where and when to ski: Boulder, Colorado resident Joel Gratz.
Born in Pennsylvania, Gratz is a Colorado transplant who came out west to pursue higher education and to chase powder days. While obtaining his Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Gratz realized he could combine his education and passion for winter sports to create OpenSnow.
Like all meteorologists, Gratz utilizes all the necessary tools: satellites, radar, weather models, and weather stations, to collect information. What sets Gratz apart is his ability to forecast on a micro-scale, analyzing one aspect of weather in thorough detail: snow.
“The key difference between meteorologists is how we interpret the information,” Gratz told Elevation Outdoors Magazine, “and how we communicate our forecasts.”
Thanks to his obsessive interests in weather and skiing, Gratz dedicated his free time to analyzing snowfall and what that data meant for his next day on the slopes. Soon after beginning this endeavor, Gratz started sending his snow reports to his friends. In 2009 he created ColoradoPowderForecast.com, which became OpenSnow.com a couple of years later. The rest is history.
Now, OpenSnow comprises expert forecasters providing daily snow reports at nearly every North American ski resort and at ski resorts in Japan and Europe.
Coloradans looking for reliable snow reports this ski season should look no further than OpenSnow. After all, Gratz relies on those exact forecasts to aid in his 60-75 annual days on the hill.
We reached out to OpenSnow directly for some insider insights about the 2022-2023 ski season. Chief Operating Officer and Meteorologist Sam Collentine talked to us about the upcoming “Triple Dip La Niña” and he told us the following:
“We are entering our third consecutive La Niña winter – something that meteorologists have termed a “Triple Dip La Niña”. La Niña is the cool phase of the ENSO cycle, which means that the ocean water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are cooler than average. When looking back at previous La Niña winters, we tend to expect above-average snowfall in the Pacific Northwest, average to slightly above-average snowfall in the Northern and Central Rockies, and below-average snowfall in the Southwest. This is a general expectation but keep in mind that no matter how deep or light a winter is overall in any specific region, when it comes to skiing or riding powder, it’s all about timing. Booking a trip 7-10 days in advance and for a general area that looks stormy (with the help OpenSnow) will increase your chances of scoring powder days this winter.”
Collentine confirmed that Summit County ski areas are part of the slightly above-average snowfall anticipated for the Northern and Central Rockies.
As Summit County real estate and lifestyle experts, Real Estate of the Summit is always on the hunt for events, establishments, and innovations that pair well with the Colorado mountain lifestyle and elevate your life. All of our brokers are OpenSnow subscribers, and we can attest firsthand to its value!
For more information on OpenSnow and 2022/2023 ski season news and updates, sign up for the Real Estate of the Summit newsletter, or contact us today. Interested in becoming an OpenSnow subscriber? Click here!