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Weather: More upslope ahead?

Current storm track not favoring most mountain areas, but foothills and metro area could seen steady weekend snows

Recent satellite images show a classic split-flow pattern that does not favor Colorado with snow. A big chunk of storm energy is moving through western Canada, with a secondary system passing through Arizona and New Mexico.

A big snowstorm hit Thursday in Summit County — not!

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Winter storm watches, warnings and advisories notwithstanding, most of Colorado’s mountains got skunked by the first part of the most recent storm, which is still spinning somewhere down over Southern California, where Santa Ana winds knocked over huge eucalyptus trees. Check out this LA Times photoblog for some dramatic images.

The winds have been blowing in Cali since yesterday, when an automated weather station atop Mammoth Mountain Ski Area reported gusts of up to 150 mph.

But some of Colorado’s resorts did do well with the storm. Ironically, it was not the big mega-resorts that tend to hype snowfall before it actually happens. Instead, little Echo Mountain picked up 16 inches and is now reporting a 30-inch base with 80 percent of its terrain open.

Eldora reported 8 inches in the Thursday afternoon Colorado Ski Country USA snow report. With a 24-inch base, Eldora has been able to open 40 percent of its intermediate terrain.

Some forecasters are still calling for snow to move into the area this weekend, including this Grand Junction-based TV meteorologist. We’ll see …

By contrast, the Boulder National Weather Service office is calling for another upslope beginning Friday night, with only a few inches of snow — if any — west of the Continental Divide. The forecast is online here. More streaming weather updates on Twitter under the #COwx hashtag.

Finally, the forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, known for accurate localized mountain forecasts, are playing their cards close to the vest. The current pattern won’t produce much snow for the western Colorado mountains until the low pressure system breaks out of the desert Southwest, according to the latest CAIC weather update.

Here’s the bottom line from the CAIC forecasters, with no hype or spin:

“The low is forecast to break northeast Friday afternoon and it is then forecast to reform over the Four Corners Saturday evening after wandering along the Colorado/Utah border for about 24 hours. Given the recent track record of our computer models I would not take this to the bank. This pattern does not hold much snowfall until the low breaks out of the desert southwest. I think it best to take this day by day for now.”

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