The snow gods finally smiled upon Arizona and New Mexico at the very end of 2010, as an extended storm front laid down several feet of much-needed snow on the states' slopes and trails. Mid-mountain depths still lag behind normal, but holiday visitors did get a better taste of what each mountain had to offer.
Benefiting most were areas without snowmaking, including Arizona Snowbowl that opened on Christmas Day and then got another 72 inches before New Year's Eve. The interstates into Flagstaff were closed for a number of hours on New Year's Eve as blowing snow clogged roadways with drifts.
At long last, Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos, N.M., got to turn on its lifts on New Year's Day, and neighboring Taos Ski Valley and Angel Fire Resort could take down the ropes on much more of their terrain. Ski Santa Fe received almost 2 feet in this latest storm, the most for the New Mexico areas, while holiday skiers and ‘boarders at Ski Apache, Sipapu and Red River all could breathe a little easier after this snowfall.
Utah's resorts continued on an early-season lucky streak, as these latest storms took time to stop on the Wasatch and the Tushars to leave behind several feet before pushing eastward. Eagle Point and TheCanyons led the way with 30 inches in three days.
Behind all this snow comes cold, cold weather. New Year's Day high temperatures were expected to be in the teens, if that high, with overnight lows well below zero, according to Snowforecast.com. Slightly warm temperatures arrive for the first week of 2011.