Snow blanketed much of the country this time last year. But so far, this winter has been different.
The lack of snow has been bad for business at ski resorts across the country. Many ski slopes are still covered with grass.
The warmer temperatures have also kept some resorts from using their machines to create artificial snow.
"Oftentimes, we have one part of the country lagging in cold and snow," Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association, told USA Today. "This year, unfortunately, it's a coast-to-coast story."
In Vermont, only 421 of 1,200 ski trails are open. In past years, the state has had more than 800 trails operating by this time.
Out west, Lake Tahoe and other winter hot spots have been affected as skiers and snowboarders have stayed away because of the lack of snow.
In contrast, many local city budgets remain strong because of the lack of frozen precipitation.
Last year, Boston went over its snow removal budget by $9 million. This year that same budget line remains untouched.
It's the same story for many cities around the country. However, forecasters say snowy winter weather could be just around the corner.
"The winter is young and we certainly think that the cold and the snow is going to return for a good part of the country," explained Bernie Rayno, a meteorologist for Accuweather.com.
That's good news for many ski resort operators who remain optimistic that the much needed snowfall will bring visitors to their slopes soon.
Check the latest ski reports and conditions on UM Weather's Ski Weather page.
--Published Dec. 30, 2011.