Chilean Ski Resort Opens Early Amid Ongoing Heavy Snow

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Valle Nevado ski resort in Chile opened three weeks early on May 31, opening three of its lifts, Gondola, Prado, and Vaivén, and their associated ski runs. The early open came after repeated bouts of heavy snow throughout May, culminating in a massive snowstorm the last week of the month, reports Forbes.

“We are thrilled to open the slopes early this season,” says Valle Nevado General Manager Ricardo Margulis told Forbes. “Our team has been working hard to get ready for the upcoming season, and with four feet of early season snow, we are off to a great start.”

Valle Nevado’s good ski conditions are the result of a broad trend of below average temperatures and above average snowfall across much of the southern part of the South American continent. Chile, for example, experienced its lowest mid-May temperatures in 70 years.

“Since 1950 onwards, i.e., in the last 74 years, we have not had such an intense cold spell in May,” Raul Cordero, Climatologist at the University of Santiago, told Reuters. “We have had days with even lower temperatures, but now we have a succession of eight days with temperatures well below typical values.

“So, we are in the presence of the longest cold spell ever recorded in the capital, at least for the autumn months,” Cordero continued.

Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina also experienced extended unusual cold spells in May, with Argentina also receiving moderate to heavy snow.

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