Three storms, one week: Summit County ski areas prepare for possible foot of snow as southern mountains brace for 40+

Snowboarder Brian Rice races down a run at Copper Mountain on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. n the last 24 hours, the resort has recieved 11 inches of fresh snow, meaning it's now gotten over 140 inches for the season.
Copper Mountain Resort/Courtesy photo

Those seeking deep pockets of powder will want to head to southern Colorado this week as three back-to-back storms descend on the state. But those who stick around Summit County should be in for a treat as snow is expected to fall most days of the week until Friday, Jan. 20. 

Telluride, Purgatory and Wolf Creek resorts are expected to see the most snow throughout the storm system from Sunday to Friday, with estimations of between 30 to 40 inches, according to Summit County forecasts offer a “respectable” amount of snow, according to OpenSnow founder and lead meteorologist Joel Gratz, where between 8 to 16 inches could accumulate during that timeframe. 

“The total snow forecast heavily favors the southern mountains this week with multiple feet of snow,” Gratz wrote in his blog post Sunday. “The central and northern mountains will also get respectable amounts, and even if snow totals aren’t that deep at all mountains, the consistency of the snow is what can lead to softer — and the feeling of deeper-than-expected — conditions.”

While the first storm made its way into Colorado Sunday morning and is expected to end Monday morning, a second is expected to bring snow to Summit County starting in the early morning hours of Tuesday morning before ramping up Tuesday evening. 

The first storm was expected to bring between 2 to 4 inches of fresh snow to all of Summit County’s resorts — Keystone Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Copper Mountain Resort. Then Monday will be relatively dry until the next storm rolls in after dark. 

In the second storm, which is supposed to end midday Wednesday, low-end snow predictions from OpenSnow call for 5 inches at A-Basin, Keystone and Copper while Breckenridge and Loveland Ski Area could be 6 inches. The high end totals call for a foot at Loveland, 11 inches at Breckenridge, 11 inches at A-Basin, 9 inches at Copper and 9 inches at Keystone. 

The last storm could hit Thursday and bring a few more inches to each resort. 

National Weather Service reports don’t predict snow totals beyond the first storm, but meteorologists say the second storm will be stronger than the last storm from Thursday to Friday. 

“The next pacific storm system will move across the region Tuesday night and Wednesday, bringing snow to most areas,” National Weather Serivce meterologists wrote in a hazardous weather outlook issued Sunday. “This should bring a good round of snow to the mountains.”

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