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Inland Northwest ski resorts close, delay openings amid record high temperatures

Record highs were set around the Inland Northwest on Sunday and another batch of records is possible on Wednesday for the start of December.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Temperatures have been soaring into the 50s and even 60s across the Inland Northwest since Sunday and now more record high temperatures are possible on the first day of December. 

Unprecedented warmth overtook the area on Sunday and temperatures broke record highs, including in Spokane which hit 56 degrees. That broke the old record of 55 degrees, which was set in 1883, just two years after record-keeping began. Areas in Central Washington were in the 60s. The warmest location: Wenatchee, which hit a record high 65 degrees on Sunday.

The mild pattern, courtesy of a ridge in the jet stream over the western US, remains in formation through this week which means more warm temperatures. Fifty-degree temperatures are in the forecast for Spokane through Thursday, which would make for five straight days of 50 degrees or warmer at the end of November into December.

Wednesday is predicted to be the warmest day of the week, with highs once again surging into the mid-50s for Spokane and 60s in central Washington. Record highs are possible. For Spokane, the record for December 1 stands at 57 degrees.

The warm weather is a bit of a double-edge sword for the area. While the warmth is nice for those in the cities, the ski resorts are less than thrilled. 

Snow levels have risen to 7,000 feet as of Monday and are forecasted to rise as high as 10,000 feet on Wednesday. Snow on the slopes is melting and is no longer enough to sustain any skiing or snowboarding. Schweitzer Mountain is closing Monday through Friday due to warm temperatures after being able to open for the season last Friday.

Silver Mountain also had to refund visitors with skiing or tubing tickets on Sunday, as the ski area lost the little snow it had due to warming temperatures. Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area said it is shooting to open on Friday, Saturday or Sunday due to the warm temperatures. 

The Numerica Skate Ribbon in downtown Spokane's Riverfront Park is also closed due to the warm temperatures. 


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