Thursday storm to bring up to 8 inches to Summit County peaks |

Thursday storm to bring up to 8 inches to Summit County peaks

Of the five local ski areas, Breckenridge Ski Resort recorded the most snowfall in February, totaling 58 inches.
Photo from Breckenridge Ski Resort

A quick-hitting storm will roll through Summit County on Thursday before the area returns to dryer weather. National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Koopmeiners reported that up to 8 inches could fall on Summit County ski areas and other high peaks.

Koopmeiners said snow will be widespread during the day and into the afternoon Thursday with a good chance of snow Thursday evening.

“You’ve got an 18-hour period of widespread snow (Thursday), and then scattered snow showers Thursday evening, and then nothing after midnight,” Koopmeiners said.

During the course of the storm, Koopmeiners said 1 1/2 to 4 inches could accumulate in town, and 7-8 inches could accumulate at higher elevations, particularly the northwest peaks of the county. According to the National Weather Service forecast for Frisco, the high temperature Thursday will be 30 degrees. Temperatures are expected to warm to 45 degrees Friday, 50 degrees Saturday and 49 degrees Sunday. Overnight temperatures will dip to 16 degrees Thursday and Friday nights.

Dry weather will follow the storm, as Koopmeiners said precipitation is not expected Friday or Saturday. However, there is a 10% to 20% chance of widely scattered snow showers from midnight Saturday through Sunday, Koopmeiners said. Weather will dry up again Sunday afternoon.

Koopmeiners said the next chance for snow accumulation is early next week. On Monday afternoon and evening, he said there is another 10% to 20% chance of snow and that the chance of snow increases Tuesday.

February brought much-needed snow to Summit County, but according to the National Weather Service almanac, recorded snow at the Dillon weather station in February was still below average. The station recorded a total of 12.5 inches of new snow in February, but 15.7 inches is normal for the area, according to station records. In February 2020, 29.5 inches was recorded.

Graph by Taylor Sienkiewicz /

Each Summit County ski area had their best month of the season for snow accumulation in February. Snow totals for the month ranged from 40 inches at Keystone Resort to 58 inches at Breckenridge Ski Resort. At four of the five local ski areas, February 2021 snow totals surpassed those of February 2016 to 2019 but paled in comparison to February 2020 snow totals.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Summit County’s drought situation has improved. The U.S. Drought Monitor uses a scale of drought intensity that ranges from abnormally dry to exceptional drought. While the northern half of the county is still classified as being in extreme drought, the southern half of the county is in severe drought.

This is an improvement from the county’s drought situation in early February, where it was split between extreme and exceptional drought. The monitor’s drought summary said precipitation in Wyoming and Colorado brought the mountain snow-water equivalent, or the amount of snow held in the snowpack, closer to normal as of Feb. 23.

Map shows drought severity levels across Colorado.
Map from U.S. Drought Monitor

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