Sunday storm brought up to 5 inches to ski areas; no moisture on the horizon |

Sunday storm brought up to 5 inches to ski areas; no moisture on the horizon

Snow falls on Arapahoe Basin Ski Area's Pallavicini chairlift on Sunday, Oct. 11.
Courtesy photo Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

FRISCO — Sunday’s storm wasn’t expected to bring much snow, but ended up tallying as much as 5 inches at local ski areas. While the snow stuck around on grassy areas Monday morning, it was gone by midday.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area received 5 inches of snow on Sunday; Copper Mountain Resort reported 4 inches. While Vail Resorts spokeswoman Nicole Stull said in an email that the company’s Colorado resorts don’t officially begin recording snow totals until Oct. 15, unofficial totals from Sunday’s storm amounted to 5 inches of snow at Breckenridge Ski Resort and 4 inches at Keystone Resort.

Breckenridge received about 5 inches of snow on Sunday, Oct. 11.
Photo from Breckenridge Ski Resort

Loveland Ski Area reported 5.5 inches of snow. The ski area also kicked off their snowmaking process at 4:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Catwalk and Mambo runs, following A-Basin, Copper and Keystone’s recent startup of the snowguns. Loveland spokesman Dustin Schaefer said in an email that it typically takes about two weeks for the snowguns to cover the opening day run. Last year, the ski area opened Oct. 25.

A-Basin COO Alan Henceroth wrote in his blog that snowguns turned on Sunday night and were still going Monday morning. The overnight wet bulb temperature dropped down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Henceroth wrote that snowmaking that occurred prior to Sunday was mostly for testing and training, but Sunday night was “the real deal.” 

A-Basin spokeswoman Katherine Fuller said in an email that if temperatures are right, the snowguns will remain on through Monday and Monday night. While Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper have announced definitive opening days, A-Basin and Loveland have not set dates and may be in their own race to open this year.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bernie Meier said that in the valleys of Summit County, 1-3 inches of snow were recorded — 1 inch in Frisco and 3 in Silverthorne. The Dillon weather station, which is located near Dillon Reservoir, recorded 1.5 inches of new snow and a minimum temperature of 15 degrees. The normal minimum temperature for Oct. 11 is 22 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service almanac.

Meier said no additional storms are on the horizon. He said temperatures through Wednesday will be mild but a cold front will move in on Thursday. Then, temperatures will warm back up for the weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts that in Dillon, Tuesday’s high temperature will be 63 degrees, Wednesday will be 62 degrees and Thursday will drop back down to 52 degrees. Temperatures are expected to warm back up to 61 degrees on Saturday and 59 degrees on Sunday.

“No storm systems at all, no chance at anything,” Meier said.

While there won’t be any precipitation, Meier said it might be breezy some afternoons. The National Weather Service forecasts wind gusts to be as high as 37 mph on Tuesday and 41 mph on Wednesday. Meier said Summit County’s elevated fire danger will continue particularly later in the week and this weekend as moisture from the storm dries out. Summit Fire & EMS currently rates wildfire danger as “very high.”

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