Valley temps could climb into the low 40s by the weekend
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — It looks like January will wind down with some calm and mild weather, as high pressure builds across the West, bringing sunny skies and temperatures climbing up to the high 30s and even the low 40s by the end of the week. But first, another weak system — the last in the series — will move through the mountains. with snow expected along the I-70 corridor by mid-day Tuesday and lingering along the Continental Divide into Tuesday night.
Each successive forecast model has weakened the incoming wave, with the most recent forecasts only calling for a trace to a few inches of snow in the most-favored spots. Strong high pressure will set up in blocking pattern Wednesday and remain over the area through most of the weekend, with the next best chance of snow Sunday night into Monday.
High temps early in the week are forecast to reach the mid to upper 20s, with overnight lows in the single digits, within several degrees of the average temperatures for late January. The average highs for the last week of January are from 31 to 32 degrees. The record high for Jan. 25 is 50 degrees, set in 1953. The record low is 25 degrees below zero, set in 1924.
The snowpack at most locations around the state remain above average, according to readings from the network of automated SNOTEL sites. Some of the deepest readings include 78 inches at the Zirkel site, 75 inches at Park Reservoir on the Grand Mesa, and 78 inches at Lake Irene, west of Estes Park. In Summit County, the Grizzly Peak SNOTEL site was reporting 62 inches, Fremont Pass, 56 inches at Hoosier Pass, 46 inches.
Statewide, the snowpack is still above average, with surplus readings in each river basin except for the Upper Rio Grande, where the snowcap is 88 percent of average. The North Plate Basin, the Yampa and White Basin and the Colorado River Basin are all reporting a snowpack more than 130 percent of average. Statewide, the snowpack is 124 percent of average as of Jan 24.
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