More wintry weather expected in Summit County |

More wintry weather expected in Summit County

summit daily news
Special to the Daily/A-Basin-Kimberly Trembearth

SUMMIT COUNTY – Sunday night’s blast of wintry weather gave a boost to snowmaking efforts at local ski areas, with snow guns going full force at all the resorts as temperatures dipped to below zero Monday morning.

Arapahoe Basin reported 1.5 inches of snow Monday morning and 3 inches in the past three days. The ski area is blowing snow on the upper mountain in hopes of opening some top-to-bottom runs in the next few weeks. Loveland will most likely open up Chair 6 later this week. Both ski areas are reporting an 18-inch mid-mountain base.

Monday’s low of minus one degree was a full 21 degrees lower than the average daily low temperature for October at the National Weather Service site in Dillon.

The forecast for the next few days calls for more of the same, with another cold storm slated to drop in from the Pacific Northwest this evening. Early season storms are notoriously tricky to forecast, but if the cold front stays on track, more than a foot of snow could fall at the higher elevations by Wednesday.

After a warmup Monday afternoon and this morning, skies should once again turn snowy by mid-week, with sub-freezing low temperatures expected the rest of the week.

Snowy October weather is in line with the seasonal outlook dished up

a few weeks ago by Boulder-based weather expert Klaus Wolter. An

El Nino weather pattern, with warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures across parts of the Pacific, can drive the early season storm track right into Colorado, Wolter said.

Looking back at the historic record, Wolter said El Nino years more often than not coincide with enhanced precipitation in the fall and early winter.

Looking farther into the winter, the outlook is less certain. Wolter said that, in general, the seasonal phenomenon has a more marked effect on the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. In the central and northern part of the state, it’s harder to discern the effects. For the winter, Wolter said odds are about even for a normal snowfall year.

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