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Colorado: Incoming storm may blast high country

Significant snow expected Friday into Saturday

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A developing storm in the Gulf of Alaska should bring some snow to Colorado by Friday.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO —After a mercifully short January thaw, forecasters say winter conditions could return to western Colorado by the end of the week, with significant snow possible Friday into Saturday, and the chance of on and off snow into the early part of next week.

The Grand Junction National Weather Service office has already hoisted a winter storm watch for the mountains of northeastern Utah, and forecasters will likely expand notices of advancing winter weather to western Colorado in the next few days.

A trough of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to drop into the Great Basin by Thursday, then move across the Colorado high country during the day Friday, with all ingredients in place for at least a period of moderate to heavy snowfall. Early forecasts are hinting at the possibility of 5 to 10 inches of snow for the Summit County area, with more possible in some favored areas.

Snow should begin Thursday in the San Juans under a southwest flow, then pick up in the central and northern mountains Thursday night and Friday as the flow shifts to west and northwest. Under a favorable flow for orographic snowfall, the north-central mountains could see double-digit snowfall totals by early next week, helping to boost a scant snowpack and freshening the slopes for skiers and snowboarders.

Before the storm gets here, look for another couple of days of mild weather, with southwest flow ahead of the trough. Highs Wednesday and Thursday should climb to the mid-30s, before cooling off into the 20s on Friday and low teens by the weekend.

Even colder air will filter into the area under a northwesterly flow early next week, with highs only in the single digits and lows dropping back to below zero. Moderating temperatures are expected by the middle of next week.

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