1st big snow in Summit County expected this weekend | SummitDaily.com

1st big snow in Summit County expected this weekend

Residents in the Saw Mill Road cul-de-sac recorded up to 12 inches of snowfall on May 20, 2022. That was the last time Summit County saw significant snowfall, and forecasts shows that a large snowstorm this weekend could be the first snow of the fall season.
Steve Hoppe/Courtesy photo

Summit County is expected to get several inches over the course of Sunday and Monday, Oct 23-24, marking the first big snow to hit the community since the spring. 

According to a Thursday, Oct. 20, forecast from OpenSnow, which tracks snowfall across the country, it is still hard to predict how many inches the West will receive over the course of the weekend. Founding meteorologist Joel Gratz said that there are three camps of forecast models of the storm. One is that the storm tracks through Colorado, favoring the central and southern mountains. Another is that the storm tracks south of Colorado and slows down, favoring the southern mountains with less certain outcomes for other mountains, and the third is a prediction somewhere in between.

“My guess is that based on the cold temperatures coming early next week, which could allow for a few days of around-the-clock snowmaking, that maybe, just maybe, there will be lift-serviced turns on machine-made snow by the final weekend in October,” Gratz said. “That said, if Sunday’s storm drops enough snow, there could be lift-serviced turns on natural snow before the end of the month as well.” 

Current expectations show that Keystone Resort is expected to get 3-6 inches, and Breckenridge Ski Resort and Copper Mountain Resort might get anywhere between 6 inches to a foot each. Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area are both showing predictions of 3-6 inches. 

Other ski areas to the west are expected to get even more. In Aspen, predictions show that the ski area could get closer to 12-20 inches. Ski areas in Telluride and Steamboat Springs are showing higher numbers, as well. 

“One impact of this storm will be winter driving conditions with snow-covered roads on mountain passes on Sunday and snow-covered roads in many valleys by later on Sunday and into Monday,” Gratz said. “Another impact of this storm will be significant snowfall, but it is still too soon to ‘lock in’ amounts and which mountains could win.”

Forecasts from the National Weather Service in Boulder show Saturday, Oct. 22, looking dry and warm for much of the area though the day, but increasing showers from west to east are expected over the mountains Saturday night and early Sunday.

“Main impacts will be over the mountains with accumulating snowfall on Sunday and Sunday night as the snow level lowers to 8,000 feet by late in the day on Sunday and then down to 6,000 feet by Monday morning,” meteorologist Scott Entrenkin said in a long-term forecast. “Preliminary snowfall for the mountains looks to be advisory type amounts of a 3-to-8-inch range by late Sunday night.”

By Tuesday, Oct. 25, and Wednesday, Oct. 26, drier conditions along with a slow warming trend are expected. In recent weeks, ski areas in and around Summit County have begun snowmaking leading up to the first day of ski season. The last time snow blanketed the valleys was in late May, when the National Weather Service recorded at least 9.2 inches of snowfall in Frisco, 9.6 inches at the Summit Ranch site in Silverthorne, 18.6 inches in Breckenridge and over 14 inches in the Loveland Basin. Since then, dustings of snow have been seen at the highest peaks. 

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