Lutsen Mountains plans to keep the ski slopes open for awhile longer

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It may be warm in central and southern Minnesota. But up north, Lutsen Mountains predicts six to eight more weeks of skiing.

"It is 15-20 degrees cooler here, which makes a huge difference in snow conditions," Lutsen Mountains Marketing Director Jim Vick said in an email release.

While the Twin Cities hit a record high on March 8 by reaching 6o (also coming after the warmest winter on record in the United States), the temperatures up on the North Shore have generally maxed out in the upper 30s.

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And that means more time for the slopes, with Vick noting weather trends at Lutsen are on pace with last year, when they were open until April 19.

"We have not missed skiing into April in over 25 years," Vick said. "There is nothing in the 2016 forecast that suggests otherwise.”

Vick credits the proximity to Lake Superior and the "lake effect" for typically keeping averages nearly 20 degrees cooler than the Twin Cities metro, allowing the snow base to stay intact.

Luckily for ski enthusiasts, several hills experienced 1-2 inches of snow in the past seven days according to the Ski and Board snow report from the Minnesota Ski Area Association, including 2 inches for Lutsen. Sixteen of the 17 listed at the site ski hills are still open through this weekend.

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