Mount Baker: World's snowiest ski resort forced to close due to 'lack of snow'

Mount Baker hopes to reopen later in the season

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The Independent US

The ski resort that regularly records the world’s highest rate of annual snowfall has been forced to close temporarily due to a lack of snow.

Mount Baker, in the northwest US state of Washington, holds the record for the world’s greatest recorded snowfall in one season at 29 metres in the 1998-99 season.

It further enjoys a reputation for receiving the highest average seasonal snowfall of any resort in the world at an annual 16.3 metres.

However, it has been a totally different story for the popular resort this year, as it has received only a tiny percentage of its traditional snowfall. 

According to the resort’s website, all operations have been “temporarily suspended until more snow falls.”

Speaking in a video on the website, President and General Manager of the resort Duncan Howat confirmed that Mount Baker was suspending operations and claimed the resort needed “around 6-12 inches” before it would be back in operation.

He said that occasional barren years were normal and that a similar lack of snow had closed the resort in 2005 before 80 inches of snow fell over the rest of the season and operations were able to resume.

Operations Manager Gwyn Howat, speaking in the same video, said that “When and if, and certainly it’s a when we get the snow, we’ll look at whether conditions will allow us to extend the season.

“The winter has not got the best of us yet and we remain optimistic and hopeful.”

The ski resort is one of a number that have been forced to close in recent months due to warm conditions on the west coast causing snow to fall as rain.

This is in part an effect of the Pineapple Express meteorological phenomenon, bringing high temperatures and heavy rain from Hawaii to the West Coast of the US, striking in December 2014. It is the first time that it has been generated since 2010.

On the other side of the coin, a small village in Italy claims to be one of the snowiest places in the world after over 2.5 metres of snow fell in less than 24 hours.

Capracotta, in the Molise region of central Italy, has not seen so much snow since 1956.

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