A snow-free winter has pushed most parts of New Mexico to dry conditions, leaving workers in many ski resorts unemployed or underemployed.
Due to lack of snowfall, people are worried that if the storm system does not arrive, the whole season will cover a certain slope.
The average winter snowfall at Santa Fe Ski Resort is 225 inches and so far only 7 inches. Ski Santa Fe spokesman Steven Trafk said the company distributes 22.7 million gallons of water annually for snowmaking.
Even on a mountain, the temperature of making snow is often too high. Since November, officials of artificial snow have been dumping at the ski slopes, and most of the western slopes are still dry.
A manager at Pajarito Mountain Ski Resort in Los Alamos said the number of employees was cut in half and only two of the six elevators were running.
An Arctic explosion is not yet enough time to catch up with the present season. But Santa Fe, New Mexico, reported that the prospect of such a turnaround seemed impossible.
Andrew Church, a meteorologist at the Albuquerque National Meteorological Administration, said he expected to see what he saw so far in the coming months, "closer to the climate than the average". However, the average snowfall in Santa Fe in January was only 4 inches.
"Unless the storm continues," the church said, "we will see much below average snow cover."
The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitoring Network shows that 5% of New Mexico is in a severe drought.
Neighboring countries are suffering from similar situations.
Aspen Ski Company Limited in some parts of Colorado was terrible. Last month a soup kitchen was set up to provide free meals to workers who were owed wages.
A company spokesman told The Aspen newspaper: "We will feed them all the time as long as we can not get these people full employment."
Even if the storm does not bring powder, Angel Fire Resort spokesman Kristi Long Katie said the New Mexico resort has no plans to shut down.
She said: "We are ready to snow all season, if needed.
Information from: Santa Fe, New Mexico, http://www.sfnewmexican.com