As the earth warms up, there're more moisture. So yes, more late season snow storms. The trend is believe to be real and long term.The West just got buried in feet of snow..and we are having a great spring where snow continues to fall. Considering we both had a lousy opening season i wonder if ski resorts have to consider staying open longer...
Will this be the new normal? Last year it dumped 15 inches at K on 4/17. Stowe this year is covered in snow but closed. It snowed up top st SB Friday. Don't know if they are thinking about this..but I am.
Oh..its snowing a little at Jay
At the same time, the warmer temperature is making early season harder and harder for the mountains. Not cold enough to even make snow! That trend too, is even more real that we all can feel. And will accelerate.
So yes, the more favorable time to ski has shifted towards the later part of the calendar. In terms of weather, the "ski season" has shifted. So yes, your impression of the season gotten better later and later in spring is quite probably true.
Unfortunately, the skier visitation pattern hasn't changed at all. I doubt the number of spring skiers has really change significantly.
I believe there're enough "late season specialist" mountains around for all the spring skiers. More mountains open will simply spread their visitation numbers thinner. As a spring skier myself, I'm fine with the options available to me.
It's just too bad there're so many major holidays early season. People jammed the limited number of trails. Mountains had to make snow for those dates, which often times got washed away in the typically January thaw. All that push up cost which translate to cost to tickets.