Summit County ski resorts celebrate first snowfall
Ryan Summerlin September 17, 2012
BRECKENRIDGE – A heavy, wet, but not insignificant snow, fell on Summit County’s highest peaks overnight Sunday causing celebrations among local ski resorts for the upcoming winter season.
Copper Mountain and northern parts of the county, particularly above 11,000 feet, got the better part of the blast, with approximately three inches accumulating on the high peaks overnight.
“Copper Mountain estimated 2-3 inches at the top of upper-mountain chairlift Excelerator after heavy snowfall on Monday morning,” Copper spokeswoman Austyn Williams stated. “Low temps help, but every bit of early season snow counts as the resort prepares the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center and gears up for Nov. 2 opening day.”
Representatives estimated 1.5 inches of wet snow fell at Breckenridge Ski Resort, while Keystone Resort got approximately half an inch.
Photos and posts sparked dozens of likes and comments on Facebook Monday morning.
But, though exciting for snowsports enthusiasts, Monday morning’s snowfall was little more than a winter teaser.
Most of the snow that did accumulate disappeared Monday, and with sunny skies and warmer temperatures on tap for the rest of the week, forecasters didn’t expect what was left to last through today.
“The sun’s coming out,” National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Danker said. “We’re not starting the snowpack yet.”
The forecast for this week calls for sunshine and daytime temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s. Summit County could see much of the same for the weekend, Dankers said.
The clear, cold nighttime weather expected through Friday may be prime for snowmaking, but not for the natural stuff, he said.
A ridge remains stationed over the western half of the United States, blocking, for now, any storms that might move in from the Pacific, while the air in Canada hasn’t cooled down enough yet to send down the typical winter cold fronts down to Colorado.
“That ridge is still in place,” Dankers said “It’s keeping any storms out and forcing them up into British Columbia. It’s keeping warm air and dry air in place over western Colorado.”