The first dusting of the season in Summit arrived on Tuesday night as peaks in the southern part of the county and on the Continental Divide saw a bit of the white stuff. Snow may also make an appearance on the higher peaks again on Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said.
Temperatures are not expected to sink low enough tonight to turn the drizzle that has hung over Summit County this week to snow, but brewing storms on track to move in Sunday and later next week do have the potential to bring some winter weather.
"It was warm enough, so it stayed rain for us overnight," National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Dankers said. "But it does look like another system was going to be moving over the state Sunday and into Monday, and that one may have a little more snowfall."
The new weather patterns are expected to bring colder air and a series of storms into Colorado, starting off what could be a trend toward earlier winter weather.
A new ridge that could be snow-producing is developing over the western United States, although it's still fairly early in the season.
While the ridge and oncoming cold fronts don't necessarily indicate a trend toward an early start, colder or wetter winter this year, the patterns are a welcome sight for weather watchers.
"This pattern doesn't always hold for the rest of the season. It may pop up for a week or so at a time," Dankers said. "But it is nice to see models moving that way. It's a different pattern than we've seen all summer."
While only dusting a handful of peaks, the storms moving through Summit County this week did douse the fire danger which managed to creep back up to "High" again after a weekend of warm, dry weather.
Officials say the danger warnings, which are based on a number of factors, may continue to bounce up and down over the next few weeks.
"We'll continue to see it as we get into early fall," Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District deputy chief Jay Nelson said. "We're going to be in this yo-yo effect of it going from low to moderate and moderate to high as the grasses and those fine fuels cure for the winter."
Current forecasts call for a 30 percent chance of rain today and highs only in the mid-50s. Conditions are expected to clear up Friday, with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 50s. Saturday should bring more sunshine and highs climbing into the low 60s. Clear skies are predicted overnight Friday and Saturday, with lows dropping into the 30s.
Sunday holds a slight chance of thunderstorms, according to National Weather Service forecasts Wednesday.