By Ashton Altieri

DENVER (CBS4) – South America is now in the second half of winter and so far the skiing across most of the continent has been awful. The outlook for the upcoming snow season in Colorado calls for above normal temperatures but also above normal precipitation.

Tourists prepare to ski at El Colorado skiing area, in the Andes Mountains, some 30 km from Santiago on Aug. 8. Santiago’s skiing centers are using artificial snow to save a difficult tourist season due to low snowfall in the driest winter in Chile in six decades. (credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

So while skiing in Colorado likely won’t be as good as most ski areas experienced last season, it seems unlikely our state’s fate will be as bad as South America.

Chile, which has about 20 ski areas, has been experiencing it’s driest winter in Chile in six decades. Lower than normal snowfall has been measured at most resorts including Valle Nevado which is part of the same Ikon Pass that provides access to Colorado mountains like Winter Park, Steamboat, and Aspen.

A technician checks a cannon spraying artificial snow on a ski slope at El Colorado skiing centre, in the Andes Mountains, some 30 km from Santiago on Aug. 8. (credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

Tourists visit Farellones skiing centre, where all the ski slopes are closed due to lack of snow, in Santiago on Aug. 8. (credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

The official precipitation outlook from NOAA for the upcoming winter (December, January, and February) shows a 33% for above normal snowfall for roughly the northern third of the state mainly east of the Continental Divide. This could be really good news for ski areas such as Eldora west of Boulder.

Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to be at least slightly above normal for much of the winter statewide.

Ashton Altieri

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