Most people zip their coats up tighter and brace themselves for colder conditions when they load a chairlift at the base area of a resort with the expectation that the summit will be much cooler. However, that’s not always the case here at Tamarack Resort thanks to a natural phenomenon known as a temperature inversion. A temperature inversion occurs when the temperature at the summit of a mountain is generally warmer than that of the temperature in the valley below.

Temperature differences from the base to the summit of Tamarack can sometimes only be minor and barely noticeable. Other times, the temperature can vary drastically. For example, earlier this week, the grooming team reported a base area temperature of -15 degrees. Meanwhile, the groomers at mid-mountain recorded the temperature at 17 degree. Meaning that it was over 30 degrees WARMER at an elevation of over 1,500’ HIGHER.

Many of you have probably seen this weather phenomenon here at Tamarack with your very own eyes, whether you realized it or not. Temperature inversions are can visible to the naked eye in the form of low fog and clouds. Often times you might notice a seemingly gray and cloudy day when you load the bottom of the Tamarack Express chairlift, but by the time you reach the top of the Summit Express lift, you have risen above the clouds into clear skies with clouds in the valleys below. That’s because the warmer temperatures at the summit are traps the clouds in the cooler temperatures below.

Check out more photos of Tamarack’s unique weather patterns by following us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And use the hashtag #tamfam to share your photos of our unique weather conditions and all your winter fun at Tamarack Resort.