The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, in preparation for a snowstorm of epic proportions — one that could drop as much as 2 feet by Friday morning.
Jim Kalina, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Boulder office, said the storm system that moved into the area late Wednesday afternoon is riding a strong jet stream and carrying a lot of moisture. Depending on elevation, Summit County could receive anywhere between 6 and 27 inches of heavy snow by 5 a.m. Friday, Kalina said.
The wide prediction margin is due to Summit County’s vast elevation variations, Kalina said. Residents of towns such as Dillon and Silverthorne, which are located in the valleys, can expect 6 to 12 inches of snow by the end of the week, Kalina said.
Above 9,000 feet, in places like Frisco and Breckenridge, snow accumulation could range between 12 and 22 inches by storm’s end. There’s a chance of up to 27 inches of snow on Summit County’s west-facing slopes, Kalina said.
In addition to snow, Kalina said Summit County residents should expect windy conditions and periods of blowing or drifting snow.
At lower elevations, winds could blow between 25 and 35 miles per hour. At higher elevations, winds could blow at 25 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph above timberline.