Storm aimed at eastern Colo. should hit Summit too
Ryan Summerlin February 2, 2012
A storm moving across eastern Colorado today is expected to cross Summit County as well, perhaps delivering up to 2 feet of snow in some places by Saturday morning.
Summit County is under a winter weather warning from 5 p.m. today through 11 p.m. Friday, with the heaviest snow expected to fall on eastern slopes and east of the Continental Divide.
Summit County woke up to a light dusting of powder this morning, but the real accumulation is not expected to begin until this evening.
Forecasters are calling for up to 3 inches of new snow by the end of the day today, an additional 5-10 inches overnight tonight and 7-14 more before Saturday morning.
Eastern parts of Summit County, particularly at higher elevations, are expected to get the most accumulation today and tonight, while traditionally lighter snow areas, such as Dillon, will likely see closer to 6 inches by the time the storm is over, according to reports from the National Weather Service.
Summit County will catch the western edge of the powerful storm system moving northeast from the Four Corners area across the Eastern Plains today and Friday.
“The strongest part of the storm will be over northeast Colorado and off into Kansas and Nebraska,” NWS meteorologist Bernie Meier said.
Blizzard warnings have been issued across eastern Colorado starting at 11 p.m. tonight.
For Summit County, it is one of the first storms of the season not expected to pair the snow with gale force winds.
Wind speeds may average between 10 and 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
Temperatures will likely stay in the mid to upper 20s today and drop into the teens and single digits tonight. Friday will be colder with highs from 13-23 degrees and overnight lows again in the single digits. But the real dip in the mercury will follow the storm Saturday night, when temperatures could bottom out at -2.
The rest of the weekend and early next week are expected to be clear, with sunny skies and warmer temperatures returning Sunday and set to continue through Wednesday, according to NWS forecasts.
The avalanche conditions in the Summit County and Vail area have stabilized over the last few days following last week’s snowstorm, but the risk remained at “considerable,” – level 3 on a five-step scale – on north, northeast and east-facing slopes through the week, according to reports from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The new snow today and Friday will likely cause a spike in avalanche danger, CAIC forecasts said.
Up-to-date weather forecasts and avalanche reports are available at www.weather.gov and avalanche.state.co.us.