It’s the mud season that never ends. After plentiful snow this winter, above-average precipitation continues to fall in the High Country in the form of mixed sleet, snow and rain. Those of us waiting for sustained sunniness will, unfortunately, have to wait another week.
Saturday saw snow showers intermittently throughout the day, dampening the mountain mood but not the spirits of volunteers who showed up to clean up their neighborhoods during the county’s annual cleanup day. Visibility on highways Sunday night should be clear but it will be cold, with temperatures forecast to bottom out at 25 degrees.
Sunday is expected to be a bit drier, but still mostly cloudy and chilly with a high of 49 degrees. Thunderstorms are possible. There is an even chance of snow showers through the day and evening, with little to no snow accumulation likely. Sunday night will also see lows below freezing.
Monday will be a slog. The day is likely to have sustained periods of snow and sleet through the afternoon and evening, with highway travel possibly becoming hazardous. Strong winds are also expected.
As with any weather forecast in Colorado, beyond the next few days things are much more uncertain. The National Weather Service predicts a chance of snow showers Tuesday and throughout the rest of the week, with a glimmer of hope that at least a day or two should be sunny and clear.
The above-average precipitation is in line with the Climate Prediction Center’s forecast of above-average precipitation for the region for the next month. The precipitation has obliterated drought in Colorado, with no drought conditions left in the state and only 10% of the state experiencing “abnormally dry” conditions.
As much as the lingering muck is ruining camping and hiking plans up in the mountains, it is a far cry from the danger other Americans are facing. Up to 80 million people from the Great Lakes to Texas are currently under severe weather warnings as summer approaches.
It is peak tornado season in tornado alley, with several homes destroyed by a twister southwest of Oklahoma City on Saturday morning. Widespread damage was also reported in Abilene, Texas, after a tornado touched down in the middle of a residential neighborhood there.
While the sustained precipitation across the country has been a blessing for the drought-stricken region, it has also created massive amounts of flooding throughout the Great Plains. Iowa is expected to experience flooding again, mere weeks after historic flooding breached flood barriers, submerged entire farms and left people stranded for days or even weeks.
So while the moisture in Summit hasn’t been enjoyable, it is certainly better than another dry alternative, or the kind of extreme weather our neighbors are facing. The conditions have allowed Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to stay open an extra weekend, to June 9, with additional weekends possible if conditions continue to be favorable. Breckenridge is still slated to close on May 27, accumulating 440 inches through the winter — the third best winter in the resort’s history.
For another week, at least, skis are a safer bet for use than golf clubs.