Winter weather brings half a foot of snow to Summit County ski resorts with more on the way |

Winter weather brings half a foot of snow to Summit County ski resorts with more on the way

Local ski resorts got some fresh, wet powder just in time for the holidays, and more is on the way.

As of about 5:45 a.m. Friday, Dec. 24, Keystone Ski Resort reported that it got 6 inches in the past 12 hours, and Breckenridge Ski Resort reported it had gotten 7 inches. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area got 6 inches. Copper Mountain Resort got 6 inches overnight and 9 inches within the past 48 hours.

But with fresh snow comes fresh risk. An avalanche warning was issued by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for Vail and Summit County at 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 24, and it expires at noon Saturday, Dec. 25. The center reported that “heavy snow and strong winds are creating very dangerous conditions” and that those in the area should “expect very large avalanches to run naturally and long distances on Friday.”

The center’s website reported that the risk for an avalanche above treeline and near treeline is high, and considerable below treeline, for Friday. For Saturday, the risk above, near and below treeline is reported as considerable.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Summit County, as well as Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek and north and west Park counties above 9,000 feet. The warning is in effect until 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 25. Total accumulation is expected to be between 8 and 16 inches, with wind gusts as high as 50 mph.

According to Open Snow, both Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin are expected to get 16 inches in the next one to five days. Keystone is forecast to get 11 inches and Breckenridge is forecast to get 15 inches.

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