A return to winter in Summit County
Ryan Summerlin January 25, 2013
Snow, cold and clouds maybe returning to Summit County after a week of almost spring-like weather, forecasters say.
While there isn’t one strong storm on the horizon, a several-day period of unsettled conditions could bring cooler temperatures and daily dustings of up to a few inches each.
“It’s going to feel like winter,” National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Fredin said. “Right now, it doesn’t look like it comes in one big punch. It’s just going to be a few days of continuous clouds and snow showers.”
The pending storms, riding into Colorado on a southwesterly flow, which favors parts of the San Juans over the Continental Divide area, are still on track to treat the north-central parts of the state to flurries Saturday and likely continuing every day through Wednesday.
At press time, forecasters were calling for a possible 1-3 inches Thursday night, with sunshine returning during the day Friday. The snow is expected to pick up again on Saturday, with the best chances for accumulations Sunday night and Monday.
Some weather watchers are now looking ahead to Wednesday to be the best day next week for snowfall.
“Tuesday and Wednesday could turn out to be fantastic days for areas from Aspen north to I-70 and Steamboat,” meteorologist and weather blogger Joel Gratz posted on OpenSnow.com. “I don’t want to get too excited for this Tuesday/Wednesday setup just yet, but the trend is in the right direction. Don’t make powder plans for next week, but start thinking about it.”
High temperatures, which have hovered in the low 40s this week, are expected to dip back into the 30s and high 20s through the weekend.
Even with a 40 percent chance of snow, Saturday is expected to see the mercury climbing into the high 30s. The temperature may drop off toward the end of the weekend, with Monday’s high only in the high 20s.
Temperatures are expected to bottom out in the single digits tonight, with lows of 16 and 15 degrees Saturday and Sunday night.
Weather patterns have been generally unhelpful this season when it comes to long-term forecasting.
Even halfway through a mixed-bag winter in terms of snow, forecasters are still unable to say with much certainty what the remaining three months might hold.
March and April are, on average, the snowiest months of the year for Summit County, but this year weather watchers are following what may be a trend toward warmer temperatures and drier conditions.
“The three-month outlook is not as favorable,” Fredin said. “There’s a higher probability of temperatures being above normal into April, and then precipitation, unfortunately, it’s just a slight bias toward being drier than normal.”