It's likely going to be a bitter cold weekend in Summit County, but forecasters say there will be some new snow to take the edge off.
After a relatively warm week of daytime temperatures in the mid-30s, a cold snap headed to Colorado is expected to drop the mercury well below zero tonight, with highs only in the single digits Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
Wind chill values today could make the temperature feel as low as -31.
"It's going to be cold," meteorologist Jim Kalina said.
But there likely will be some snow paired with the freezing weather. Although the coming storm will largely favor southwestern Colorado, forecasters are calling for up to 6 inches of accumulation at some of the higher elevations in Summit County.
Locations west of Summit will likely get more. Vail could get up to 8 inches by the time the system moves out on Sunday.
"They have more moisture to work with because they're closer to the Pacific, so they do a little better sometimes," Kalina said. "It's not a big storm for snow. It's more cold than snow."
Much of western Colorado is under winter weather advisories or warnings until Saturday morning.
Conditions are expected to dry out again after the coming snowstorm. There is no new powder in the forecast at least through Wednesday and possibly for the next few weeks, forecasters say.
"After this storm passes, it'll stay cold on Sunday and Monday, but the skies will dry out," OpenSnow.com meteorologist and blogger Joel Gratz stated in a recent post. "The models are hinting that we could see a return to stormier weather starting around January 20-23(ish)."
Temperatures are expected to warm back into the 20s during the day Tuesday.
Extra layers, proper gear and regular indoor breaks will help skiers and snowboarders weather the frigid weekend ahead. Local ski areas are offering up not only bars and restaurants on the mountain, but other structures to guests who need a few minutes to thaw out.
"Guests are welcome and encouraged to warm up in Copper Mountain patrol huts throughout the mountain while skiing and riding," Copper spokeswoman Austyn Williams said. "Guests should educate themselves on the beginning stages of frostbite and look out for others in their group."
Signs and symptoms of frostbite can include a vaguely painful, prickly or itching sensation; red, white, pale or grayish-yellow skin; numbness; skin that is hard or waxy-looking and, in severe cases, blistering, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Frostbite usually occurs in small, exposed areas of skin, and begins with frostnip, which may turn skin red, but does not leave any permanent damage, an online report from the Mayo Clinic states.