7 inches surprises Keystone skiers on morning report | SummitDaily.com

7 inches surprises Keystone skiers on morning report

Keystone Resort picked up a surprising 7 inches of snow from the storm that rolled into Summit County late Sunday afternoon.

Arapahoe Basin and Loveland ski areas each reported 4 inches of fresh snow Monday morning, Breckenridge Ski Resort reported 2 inches, and Copper Mountain Resort tallied 1 inch.

At 97 total inches, the fresh snow puts Breckenridge closest to the 100-inch milestone of the season, a tally that typically would have been met before the new year.

The next round of snow is due Tuesday, Jan. 5, with light snow in the morning before things intensify for about an hour in the early afternoon, according to Open Snow meteorologist Sam Collentine.

The storm is expected to arrive with winds gusting 15-20 mph in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service Office in Boulder.

The forecast calls for 1-2.5 inches at lower elevations with more in the mountains.

“In total, look for 2-6 inches along the mountain corridor, with the best turns on Tuesday afternoon and/or first chair Wednesday,” Collentine wrote in his Interstate 70 blog. “Gusty winds will blow around a lot of snow, so expect a denser snow quality from the cold front, followed by an inch or two of fluff on top.”

The avalanche danger is currently moderate at all elevations in Summit County and is expected to stay that way Tuesday despite the fresh snow and winds in the forecast, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Despite the moderate rating, forecasters are warning that danger still lurks in the snowpack, particularly above treeline.

“You can trigger a large and deadly avalanche on north and easterly facing slopes near ridgetop,” the avalanche summary reads. “These slopes have thick slabs teetering on top of softer, collapsible weak layers. If you collapse the weak layer with your weight, a large and wide avalanche will result.”

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