Summit County under warning as winter storm descends
Ryan Summerlin April 9, 2013
Summit County may get one more late-season blast before the ski areas close with a powerful low-pressure system promising several inches of snow across Colorado.
Varying forecasts called for Summit County to get somewhere between 3 inches and more than a foot of new snow by Wednesday morning. A winter storm warning remains in effect for the county until 6 tonight.
At press time, the storm was expected to move into the High Country Monday night bringing heavy snow, wind and difficult driving conditions. Snow accumulation was expected to be heaviest at the higher elevations and on eastern slopes. As of Monday night, lower elevations in the county are expected to get 3-6 inches of new snow, although there was still some uncertainty of the exact track of the storm and weather watchers said variations were possible.
Snowfall is expected to continue throughout the day today, slowing down this evening.
“There’s a ton of moisture and storm energy and cold air with this storm, and that leads to pretty high confidence that most areas will see good snow through the day on Tuesday,” weather blogger and meteorologist Joel Gratz posted Monday.
Accumulation projections vary, however. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center Monday expected as much as 7 inches of new snow to collect in the Summit and Vail zone Monday night and called for 2-4 additional inches today. At press time the National Weather Service forecasts projected up to 4 inches Monday night and an additional 2-4 inches of accumulation throughout the day today.
Sources agree, however, the warm temperatures sustained through the weekend will plummet today, with highs only expected to climb into the 20s. The mercury is expected to sink into the single digits tonight and Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s high is projected to be in the mid-20s for Summit County.
Forecasters warned of heavy snowfall and poor driving conditions Tuesday as the storm shifts to the north-central mountains.
“Travel will be dangerous as roads will be icy and snowpacked, and visibilities will be poor,” a NWS winter storm warning states.
The storm is expected to dump as much as a foot of snow on metro Denver by Wednesday.
Breckenridge Ski Resort and Copper Mountain both wind down their seasons this weekend, with Closing Day festivities set for Sunday. Arapahoe Basin representatives said the ski area will remain open through June 2 if conditions permit.