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Morning photo: Snow daze …

It just keeps on coming

Frisco snow.

Frisco snow.

FRISCO —It just keeps getting deeper in Summit County, with the latest round of snow fueled by an atmospheric river — sometimes called a pineapple connection — tapping subtropical Pacific moisture from beyond Hawaii. For us in the Colorado high country it translates to snow, snow and more snow. January will go down as the third-wettest on record in Breckenridge, and the first week of February has already brought a month’s worth of snow to the area, with more moisture on the way. There’s really only one thing to do when it’s like this — get out and revel while you can! Continue reading

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Morning photo: Snow!

Ephemeral …

Buffalo Mountain gleams in the morning light after a big snowfall.

Buffalo Mountain gleams in the morning light after a big snowfall.

FRISCO —As long as I’ve lived in snow country, I’ve never become jaded to snow. To me, it’s one the most beautiful substances on the planet, and there’s something completely magical to seeing the landscape transformed by a thick new blanket of the frozen white stuff. The most recent storm to move through Summit County was a good one, reminiscent for me of a Sierra storm cycle, when you measure accumulations by feet, not inches. The storm took a while to clear out, so I had two mornings to go out and try capture the feeling, both with my DSLR and with the iPhone. Can you tell which pictures in this set have been massaged by various iPhone apps and filters? If you like the snapshots in this post, please visit our Fine Art America online gallery for a full selection of Summit County landscapes. Continue reading

Summit County snowfall near average through December

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January snowfall in Summit County, Colorado.

2013 ended up as 2d-wettest on record for Dillon weather station

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A quarter of the way through the 2014 water year (which started Oct. 1, 2013), snowfall and precipitation in Summit County are just about average, according to data from the two official National Weather Service observation sites.

In Breckenridge, long-time weather watcher Rick Bly measured 27.3 inches of snow in December, just a bit more than the long-term average of 22.4 inches. But the water equivalent in that snow was just 1.43 inches, slightly below the average 1.51 inches, Bly said. Continue reading

Colorado: Big slides likely in the backcountry

Forecasters issue avalanche advisory for Summit-Vail and Front Range mountain zones

An avalanche near Vail Pass, Colorado.

Big, dangerous slides like this slab avalanche in Uneva Bowl, near Vail Pass, are likely in the Colorado backcountry the next few days. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Dangerous avalanche conditions will persist across most of Colorado’s mountains for the next few days, as new snow and winds combine to bring the snowpack to its breaking point. With more snow in the forecast, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued an advisory for the Vail-Summit and Front Range zones, valid through 8 a.m. Monday (Jan. 12). Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Winter wonderland

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Shooting into the sun with an iPhone, using the camera’s HDR to capture a bit of the iridescence in the upper level clouds as a winter storm descended on Summit County.

FRISCO —It certainly feels like the heart of winter right now in Summit County, as well it should. Mid-January is the time for snow and ice, and this year Mother Nature has delivered on time. Today’s Sunday set is a little photographic homage to the white stuff, an important part of life in the Colorado high country in so many ways. Visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for a full selection of Colorado landscape images, available as fine art prints or greeting cards. Continue reading

Are you ready for Zuma Bowl?

More terrain opening at A-Basin

'Zuma powder. bberwyn photo.

‘Zuma powder. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado powder seekers will line up for the rope drop at A-Basin’s Montezuma Bowl today, with steady early season snowfall ensuring plenty of freshies on the resort’s backside.

This season’s opening comes a month earlier than last year, and the resort announced that several intermediate runs will be open and groomed from top to bottom, including Columbine and Larkspur. Some of the favored tree-skiing stashes will also open, including Miner’s Glade.

More trail openings will be announced on the Arapahoe Basin Facebook page as well as Al’s Blog as they occur.

 

 

Colorado: East Vail snow slide kills one skier

Forecasters warn of persistent avalanche danger

FRISCO — Skiing the East Vail chutes when the avalanche danger is rated as considerable is a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. After numerous close calls in the area the past few weeks, a backcountry skier died in a snowslide on Monday, January 7. It is the second avalanche death in Colorado this season. The first occurred Dec. 31 on Parkview Mountain, west of Willow Creek Pass.

Outsideonline.com is reporting that the victim was 24-year-old Tony Seibert, the grandson of Vail co-founder Pete Seibert. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center confirmed the East Vail Chutes death, but the CAIC website offered few details on the deadly incident. The center’s avalanche experts will visit the site Jan. 8 to investigate the accident. Continue reading

Morning photo: Winter light

The chilly season!

Winter sunrise glow can be intense.

Winter sunrise glow can be intense.

FRISCO — A short and sweet photographic celebration of the winter season in Summit County, Colorado … Continue reading

Sen. Udall helps secure funding for snow surveys

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NRCS snow surveys help water managers plan ahead.

Temporary budget fix ensures program through August 2014

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — For decades, hydrologists have been tromping through the high country of Colorado and around the West to make detailed snowpack measurements. Together with data from automated SNOTEL sites and other tools, the monthly snow-course readings help water managers develop accurate projections of spring stream flows, and  how much water will be available for irrigation and storage.

The information is critical in arid regions, which rely on the winter snowpack as the ultimate reservoir. Federal budget cuts have threatened the program, raising concern among western resource managers, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it has found a way to maintain funding for the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program — at least through the end of Aug. 2014. Continue reading

National Weather Service revamps winter storm warnings

Experimental forecasts will acknowledge varying threat levels at different elevations

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Graphics issued with winter storm warnings will change to make it more clear that elevation is a factor in winter storm conditions. Graphic courtesy NWS.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Planet Earth may be warming steadily, but a few pockets — including right here in Colorado — have been experiencing some chilly temperatures recently.

That includes Grand Junction, Colorado, where forecasters say December 2013 is headed for an all-time record low average temperature. Through Dec. 12, the West Slope town has averaged just 12.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 1 degree colder than the previous record set in 1978.

But don’t let the local cool temps fool you — NASA data released Dec. 13 shows that, globally,  November 2013 was the hottest since 1880, pretty much when accurate record-keeping started. All three record-warm Novembers have come within the past four years, putting to rest the global warming denier myth that there’s a pause in global warming.

Continue reading

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