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Summit County: October precip close to average

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October snow. bberwyn photo.

Temperatures much cooler than average at the National Weather Service observation site in Dillon

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The 2014 water year started with above-average snowfall in Summit County — a good sign for the winter according to Breckenridge-based weather-watcher Rick Bly, who measured 20.5 inches of snow during October. The average snowfall for the month is 12.3 inches.

According to Bly’s historical records, dating back to the late 1800s, above-average December snowfall is followed by an above average winter 70 percent of the time.

That snow melted down to 1.33 inches of water, just slightly above the average 1.27 inches of precipitation in October, which is the driest month of the year in Summit County. Continue reading

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Colorado: Storm rolling in …

Forecaster still uncertain for high country snow totals

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A big Pacific trough is working its way inland, bringing snow to much of Colorado.

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By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A winter storm rolling out of the Four Corners toward Colorado is billed as having the potential to drop several feet of snow in parts of the state, but even late Friday night, forecast models were still not in complete agreement as to where the heaviest snow will fall Saturday through Sunday.

National Weather Service forecasters have issues winter storm watches and warnings, as well as blizzard watches for almost the entire state, but the Denver-based forecasters warned that, “Summit County could very well get sheltered again in this Front Range storm.” The forecasters also said the upper low might eject farther south than previously anticipated, which would push the heavier snow amounts farther south. Click here for the latest updates and links to all the warnings. Continue reading

February snowfall near average in Summit County

Temps run well below normal at Dillon weather station

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A satellite photo from the NASA Earth Observatory collection shows extensive snow cover prevailed across parts of Colorado after storms in late January and early February. Click here to learn more about this image.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Temperatures in at least parts of Summit County ran well below average in February, while snowfall totals were near average for the month at the two official National Weather Service reporting sites in Breckenridge and Dillon.

In Breckenridge, long-time weather observer Rick Bly said he tallied 25.4 inches of snow for the month. The long-term average is 23.5 inches. The snow-water equivalent was also slightly above average, at 1.88 inches compared to 1.71 inches.

The snowfall, combined with cool temperatures, helped maintain the snowpack but didn’t make much of a dent in the seasonal deficit. For the year to-date (starting Oct. 1), snowfall is still about 30 percent below average, at 69,5 inches. The average, based on records going back to the late 1800s, is 101.5 inches. Continue reading

Colorado: Winter storm flags are flying

A big, cold Pacific storm is moving toward Colorado.

Widespread snow, cold temps expected across Colorado this weekend

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After an extended Indian Summer that saw many Summit County spots flirt with record high temps for late October and early November, thing are about to change drastically.

A cold Pacific storm will sweep across the state this weekend, potentially delivering up to two feet of snow in the San Juans, with up to 12 inches possible across many mountain areas. The best moisture appears to be associated with the approaching cold front, so the heaviest snow amounts look to be in areas favored by southwest flow, including the San Juans, the Steamboat area, the West Elks and the Flatttops, but the I-70 corridor won’t get completely skunked. Continue reading

Colorado: Finally, some snow in the forecast

Weather change coming, details uncertain

A Gulf of Alaska low will start to move toward western Colorado later this week.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — All those snow dances and sacrificial bonfires could pay off late this week as the weather pattern across North America looks to flip-flop, with high pressure in the West giving way to a broad Pacific trough that promises to bring widespread precipitation to the region.

But it’s too early to tell exactly where the snow will fall. For now, the forecast models are predicting that a vigorous cold front will cross Colorado Friday night into Saturday, bringing the best chance for snow. Continue reading

Summit County: February snowfall a mixed bag

Colorado's snowpack is still lagging behind average.

Above-average totals reported in Breck; but below average in Dillon

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — For the second month in a row, snowfall totals were above average at the official National Weather Service observation station in the town of Breckenridge.

It was a different story in Dillon, where both snowfall and precipitation were well below normal. Continue reading

Morning photo: The woods in black and white

The snow-covered deep woods lend themselves well to black and white photography

Water swirls around ice formations in the creek.

By Jenney Coberly

BRECKENRIDGE, CO — I normally shoot in color, but after a recent hike in the woods below Peak 6 in Breckenridge, I came home and looked at my photos and realized the muted greens and browns in the snow-covered forest really weren’t adding anything to the composition of the images. The shapes, shadows and textures were the essence of the pictures, with the vague hint of color more of a distraction than anything else.

I don't know what animal left these prints, but they had a spooky quality with the late afternoon light and all the shadows.

Continue reading

Weatherblog: Breckenridge to top 500 inches of snow

Wilderness Sports sponsors the Summit Voice weatherblog. Click to visit Wilderness Sports online.

Winter weather advisory through Tuesday; wet week ahead

By Bob Berwyn

Follow Summit Voice on Twitter for the most up-to-date news feed.

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. Continue reading

Weatherblog: Ready for more?

The polar satellite view shows the setup -- and check out the cool weather feature extending from the southern tip of Greenland all the way to Cuba! Click on the image to see the latest animated loop.

Decent storm totals across the northern mountains, San Juans could get pounded this weekend

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Thursday’s storm ended up stalling out along the I-70 corridor, leaving most of the central and southern mountains dry, but delivering decent snowfall totals in the north-central region, with 5 inches at A-Basin and Copper, about 8 inches and Loveland and Steamboat and 6.5 inches at Winter Park, as reported in the afternoon snow report from Colorado Ski Country USA.

Since Vail Resorts doesn’t do an afternoon update, their storm totals will be reported Friday morning as new snow, but keep in mind that the snowfall was winding down by the time the resorts closed. Anecdotal reports from Breckenridge included “knee-deep” on the upper part of the mountain Thursday afternoon. Heavy snowfall also reported from the Vail Valley Thursday. Continue reading

Jan. 27 weather: Still waiting for the Big One …

A colorful sunrise Wednesday looking west from the Summit Voice weather deck in Frisco, Colorado.

Triggered slides likely in the backcountry, big natural slides in the Gore, close calls at East Vail

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Up to 6 inches of new snow was reported across the area from Wednesday’s storm, and spotty precipitation remains in the forecast for the next few days, favoring the southern mountains. Cloud cover will increase throughout the day under mild temperatures and southerly winds.

Breckenridge reported 6 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours. Copper is reporting 4 inches, with 3.5 inches at A-Basin. Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone all reported 3 inches.

Snowfall in the Summit and Vail area could pick up again Thursday as an area of low pressure moves across the state, although the current weather models show the energy splitting, with part of the storm tracking through Wyoming and the rest passing along the Colorado-New Mexico border. The southern piece of energy could bring some snow to Front Range south of Denver under southeasterly winds. Continue reading

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