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Weatherblog: Storm door still open!

The pineapple connection is transporting moisture from deep in the Pacific right to the Continental Divide. Click on the image to see it in motion.

Several more feet of snow could fall before it’s all said and done, but so far, Summit County snowfall is far from “epic,” as weather watchers report average snow totals for the season to-date

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The pipeline of moisture from deep in the Pacific continues to flow across Colorado, where winter storm warnings for most of the high country have been extended through Tuesday evening. Think of the storm as a giant hose that’s slowly undulating from north to south to help you understand how the snow totals are varying across the state from day to day.

And while it’s been snowy in Summit County, season snowfall to date is just about average to-date, with the official reading in Breckenridge at 77 inches for the season (starting Oct. 1). That’s running just a couple of inches ahead of 2007, and still well behind 1996, when weather watcher Rick Bly had tallied 101.4 inches by this date, and the big winter of 1983, when the season-to-date snowfall was almost double of what we’ve seen so far this winter. Continue reading

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Out on a limb? Forecaster makes call for snowy winter

Colder than average sea surface temps shown in blue indicate the La Niña pattern that has already brought some record low winter temperatures to parts of South America, while dark orange shows how the warmer than average water has sloshed westward all the way to Indonesia.

December, January tabbed as snowiest months during a presentation to the Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Predicting the weather more than a few days in advance involves equal parts skill, art, science and luck, especially in Colorado, which sits in something of a meteorological no-man’s land.

But Joe Ramey, a climatologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, went out on a limb last weekend to forecast a snowy winter, beginning in December and lasting at least through January, and possibly into February.  The early part of the ski season might stay dry and warm a little longer than most eager skiers and snowboarders would like, but odds are the dumps should arrive for the heart of the season, he said.

“The weather flip-flop in 2010 gives us a high level of confidence … but don’t bet the ranch,” Ramey said, speaking last week at the annual Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop in Leadville. Continue reading

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