Rain expected every day this week in Summit County

Cars and trucks drive through rain on Interstate 70 near the Frisco/Breckenridge exit on Monday, May 17.
Photo by Taylor Sienkiewicz /

Summit County has a wet week ahead with at least a chance of showers forecast every day through the weekend.

Caitlyn Mensch, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boulder, said showers Monday, May 17, would kicks things off.

“Given the system that’s coming through the area currently, it looks like it’s going to be a little bit different than your typical summertime afternoon showers and thunderstorms,” Mensch said. “They’re going to be a little more numerous as they continue to develop into the later afternoon hours.”

On Tuesday, May 18, Mensch said the county would still be under a low pressure storm system that would slowly move out the afternoon of Wednesday, May 19, although isolated showers could stick around. She said there would be a brief period Thursday, May 20, where dry weather is likely before another system moves in from the Pacific Northwest, increasing chances for showers and thunderstorms Friday, May 21, and into the weekend.

“We do have that next system coming in toward the weekend, so it looks like we won’t be seeing an end to rain just yet,” Mensch said.

As for precipitation totals, Mensch said Monday and Tuesday would each bring about two-tenths of an inch of rain. On Wednesday, showers are expected to be more scattered, and less than one-tenth of an inch of rain is expected.

While thunderstorms and lightning activity is forecast, Mensch said fire ignition is not a big concern due to the amount of rain expected.

“(Monday and Tuesday), there is that threat for lightning … but the majority of the threats are going to be some pretty heavy rain,” Mensch said.

The National Weather Service put out a hazardous weather outlook for north central Colorado due to heavy rain and potential for flash flooding.

According to the National Weather Service’s forecast for Frisco, Tuesday’s high temperature will be 54 degrees. Through the rest of the week, high temperatures will warm up a bit to hover in the low to mid-60s. Low overnight temperatures range from 34 degrees Monday, Tuesday and Friday to 36 degrees Thursday.

While the snowpack peak at Copper Mountain in early April fell below the 30-year median, the snowpack appears to be taking its time to melt out after weeks of sporadic cool days and precipitation. As of Monday, the snow-water equivalent — or the amount of water held in the snowpack — at Copper Mountain was only 0.4 inches behind the median, which is based on 30 years of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As of Monday, the upper Colorado River basin, which Summit County falls into, is at 76% of normal for the amount of water held in the snowpack, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is an improvement from last Monday, May 10, when the basin was at only 65% of normal snow-water equivalent.

Drought conditions in Summit County have not changed since May 4. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Summit County’s drought classification is split between north and south, with the southern part of the county in a moderate drought and the northern part of the county in a severe drought.

Map shows snow-water equivalent levels at Copper Mountain in 2021, black line, compared with previous years.
Map from U.S. Department of Agriculture

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