First winter storm in February will drop 3 to 5 inches in Summit County by Tuesday morning
February 5, 2018
Bands of snow drifted along the I-70 corridor on Monday morning and dropped several inches across Summit County, with more snow overnight offering hope for a powder day Tuesday morning.
A-Basin won the resort race on Monday, getting 4 inches while Keystone, Copper and Breck all received about an inch.
Summit School District cancelled all after-school activities due to the snowy conditions, with the exception of the Summit High School hockey game and the CATCH afterschool program for elementary school students.
CDOT reported no major traffic incidents on I-70 or US-6 Monday morning, providing a snow-day commute without significant crashes or road closures. The agency attributed the clearer conditions to drivers getting smarter.
"People are prepared now," said CDOT communications manager Tracy Trulove. "They know a snowstorm is coming through, and they seem to be doing alright."
The relative good luck with traffic conditions may change overnight, however, as the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook and winter weather advisory Monday morning, predicting 3-5 inches to fall along the I-70 corridor through Tuesday morning with "hazardous travel conditions" overnight into early morning.
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Meteorologist Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com wrote in his Daily Snow forecast that we should see 2-5 more inches accumulate throughout the day and evening on Tuesday.
"Tuesday morning gets my pick for the softest conditions of the week," he wrote, offering good news to skiers jonesing for fresh powder.
Gratz also sees a drier rest of the week, but offered a slight chance of more snow this weekend. A storm may wind up peeling off the main storm track, swinging southward through the central mountains and dropping a few more inches in the area through the weekend into next week.
Gratz wrote that while the "odds are not with us" for weekend powder, the weather models he consulted "gives [him] a bit more hope that we will get lucky and be able to generate snow out of an otherwise unfavorable pattern."
The pattern Gratz referred to has led to another sluggish start to the ski season. Snowpack in the area is at 75 percent of normal levels, according to the latest USDA/NRCS snow survey.
Southwestern Colorado continues to suffer from 30-year lows in snowpack levels. Powderhorn Mountain Resort in Mesa announced it will cut back to a Thursday to Sunday schedule as it struggles with snow depth at 25 percent of average.