MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Warmer weather is affecting some winter sports at the University of Minnesota.

Higher temperatures cause more snowmelt and shorter ski seasons. Two seasons ago, the university's Nordic ski team could not participate in the American Birkebeiner, which was canceled because of warm weather.

Gopher winter sports are off to a better start this season, but the team still feels the effects of warmer winters.

Grant Halvorson, president of the university's Nordic ski team, says cross-country courses have to make more artificial snow because of light-snow winters. That increases the cost for group members who want to race.

Reports say the university's Alpine ski team is faring better. The president of the downhill ski team says he's not too worried, because of ski resorts' ability to make artificial snow.