Winter storm arrives in Summit County; snow expected to get heavier this afternoon | SummitDaily.com

Winter storm arrives in Summit County; snow expected to get heavier this afternoon

6-10 inches expected, although some areas could see up to 20 inches

Summit Daily staff report
A mixture of snow and rain falls in Frisco Friday morning, Nov. 17. (Hugh Carey / hcarey@summitdaily.com)

A powerful winter storm making its way through Colorado's High Country arrived this morning, a mixture of rain and snow that hasn’t left much evidence on the ground. That will change this afternoon, however, when a cold front moves in and temperatures decrease enough for snow to fall throughout the region.

A winter storm watch was upgraded to a winter storm warning for Summit County and the surrounding areas and remains in effect until 5 a.m. Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Snow intensity is expected to increase sharply from north to south this afternoon, reaching the I-70 mountain corridor by early Friday evening as a strong cold front arrives.

Total snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are expected, with totals nearing 20 inches in some areas. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will cause areas of blowing and drifting snow.

Joel Gratz, a meteorologist at the snow-forecasting site OpenSnow.com, says the heaviest snow will accompany the arrival of the cold front. And when that happens, snowfall rates could hit 1-to-2 inches per hour. That band of intense snow will start in the northwest part of the state, near Steamboat Springs, at about 1 p.m. Friday. It will reach the I-70 corridor area sometime between 3 and 5 p.m., Gratz predicts.

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The image from OpenSnow.com shows the expected track of a heavy snowball band at about 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. The red line denotes the edge of the band as it descends southeast across the mountains.

The image from OpenSnow.com shows the expected track of a heavy snowball band at about 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. The red line denotes the edge of the band as it descends southeast across the mountains.

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The snowfall will curtail late Friday night, giving way to sunny skies Saturday.