Winter weather advisory through Tuesday; wet week ahead
By Bob Berwyn
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SUMMIT COUNTY — With the higher elevations of Summit County under a winter weather advisory through Tuesday, Breckenridge Ski Area is all but certain to record more than 500 inches of snow for the season, according to the resort’s website, which is showing 496 inches total snowfall as of April 18.
Satellite images suggest that the season will end the way it began at Breckenridge — under a juicy northwest flow off the Pacific that will bring on and off showers for the last week of the season. The short-term forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a chance of 4 to 8 inches by Tuesday afternoon, and Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasters — generally conservative at forecasting totals — say 6 to 9 inches is possible Monday night.
The steady rain that prevailed across the high country will change over to snow Monday afternoon or evening as a cold front and a deepening trough of low pressure move over the area. There’s already a deep layer of moisture in place, and with the added elements of a strong jet stream and daytime heading leading to convection, some areas could see periods of intense precipitation, especially around thunderstorms. Expect the heaviest snow overnight, but precipitation should continue through at least mid-day Tuesday.
Tuesday night, another strong jet stream impulse is set to move across Colorado, once again stirring up the atmosphere and bringing a continued chance of snow, especially in the north. Another trough is scheduled to arrive Thursday night resulting once again in widespread snow across the mountains. In short, a wet week, not too cold, and plenty of moisture for late-season skiers.
As for temps, Tuesday will be the coldest day of the week, with highs at valley elevations reaching only into the upper 20s. By Wednesday, look for a high near 40, climbing back to near the seasonal average of 45 by Thurday and another cool-down Friday after a cold front sweeps through the area.
Grand Junction reported the statewide high Sunday at 62 degrees, with Monarch and Wolf Creek Pass reporting the coldest readings at 30 degrees.