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Weather: Classic upslope

Hope for the best …

A deep trough, developing to a closed low, is swinging south and east of the high country.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Lots of hype with this incoming storm, which will probably turn out to be a classic spring-like upslope, with heavy snow along parts of the Front Range and foothills, and hopefully some spillover for the local mountains, especially those near the Continental Divide. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Snnnoooowwwww!

Some Colorado freshies …

The storm clears over Frisco Friday morning, Jan. 26.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Nearly a foot of snow fell overnight in a classic Colorado snowstorm, with heavy waves of precipitation streaking through the mountains on a moist northwest flow. Here’s how it looked in Frisco at daybreak. Continue reading

Weather: The storm door is open

A juicy storm is lining up to drop several inches of new snow across Colorado Monday.

Prolonged period of wet weather possible for Colorado

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Dust off your snow shovel and powder skis, because all the forecast models are now in agreement that the Colorado mountains will see widespread snow this week, with the heaviest precipitation ( 1 to 2 feet) initially over the San Juans and West Elks, where a winter storm warning is already in effect.

The big ridge of high pressure that shoved early seasons storms north and south of Colorado is gone for, and the subtropical jet stream and polar jet stream are converging over Colorado to fuel what could be the biggest storm of the season so far. Continue reading

Snow in Colorado

Storm delivers widespread moderate snow

For the first time 2012, snow graced the mountains of Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — A fast-moving storm dropping out of the northwest brought a measure of relief to ski areas along the I-70 corridor, with snow totals ranging between 5 and 8 inches at most areas.

Copper's snowstake cam.

Beaver Creek and Echo Mountain both claimed 9 inches of snow, with most of the precipitation falling Saturday during the day. Several resorts reported 8-inch totals, including Vail, Aspen, Buttermilk, Snowmass and Copper Mountain, which has its snowstake cam to prove it.

The storm favored the northern and central mountains, while the San Juans reported less snow, with 4 inches at Telluride and 1 inch at Wolf Creek, which still has the deepest base in the state, at 52 inches.

High pressure will dominate Monday and Tuesday with warming temperatures, making for some of the best ski days of the season so far.

The weather models are still in some disagreement, but there’s a chance for another storm arriving along with some colder air Wednesday, then another warmup late in the week.



Weather: December one of the driest in recent years

Front Range moisture helps ease demand for West Slope water

The snowpack across much of northwest Colorado has dipped below 70 percent of average.

By Bob Berwyn

The eight to 14-day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The lack of snowfall in the high country is starting to show in the snowpack readings across the western part of the state, where readings have fallen below 70 percent of average — about 67 percent in the Colorado River Basin, which means that the snowpack is about one-third less than the average for this time of year.

In a strange twist on the La Niña weather pattern, the Front Range snowpack is above average, which doesn’t directly help the spring runoff on which much of the state depends. But good winter moisture on the Front Range does help ease demand for stored water, at least early in the season.

If there’s good news, it’s the above-average snowpack in the Upper Rio Grande Basin in south-central Colorado, where moisture hasn’t been over-abundant the past few years. A full list of SNOTEL site snow depth readings in online here. Continue reading

Snow? We’ll believe it when we’re shoveling it!

Winter weather advisories are up for western Colorado.

Will Santa deliver?

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forecasters are still struggling with the exact track of the storm slated to drop down through the Rockies  Wednesday night and into Thursday, but the northern mountains are likely to see at least some snow — in short, Thursday could, just maybe, be the first powder day in quite some time.

The weather-maker, described as potent upper-level system, will dive out of the northern Rockies dragging a strong surface cold front along the Front Range. For now, a winter weather advisory is in effect for the mountains west of Summit County to Vail Pass, with a winter storm watch for the entire Front Range and out on to the southeastern plains. Continue reading

Summit County: November weather stats

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

Snowfall lagging so far this year

Colorado snowpack hovered near average east of the Continental Divide and about 20 percent below average to the west.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY —Snowfall lagged below average in November at both local National Weather Service observation sites, with weather watcher Rick Bly measuring 14.81 inches at his station in downtown Breckenridge, about 22 percent below the average reading for the month, at 20.89 inches.

In Dillon, where Denver Water personnel measure snowfall, the monthly total was 10.5 inches, compared to the historic average of 15.3 inches.

Bly said wind events during November made the snowfall measurement somewhat problematic, explaining that the snow-water equivalent of the monthly snowfall was a little closer to the average, at 1.15 inches compared to the normal reading of 1.5 inches. Continue reading

Weatherblog: Incoming storm to favor southwest mountains

On-and-off snow expected through the weekend

Pacific storm to pound the San Juans, Elks and Grand Mesa. Click on the image to see the animated loop.

A polar satellite view shows the wave pattern of storms across the northern hemisphere. Click on the image to see the animated loop.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A complex swirl of storms is approaching the Colorado high country, with the first wave of moisture expected to hit the San Juans, as well as the mountains around Crested Butte, Aspen and Steamboat — all those areas are favored by a southwest flow and are under a winter storm warning.

The storm warning extends as far east as Vail Pass. Some of the higher elevations could pick up more than 12 inches of snow by Saturday evening.

The Summit County area likely won’t see much accumulating snow until late Saturday, Saturday night and into Sunday morning, with perhaps 3 to 6 inches during the first half of the weekend. Under a westerly flow continuing into Sunday, more snow could fall across the area the second half of the weekend, though the official forecast is still a mixed bag, with Grand Junction-based forecasters eying a low-level front that could focus snowfall along the I-70 corridor for a time Saturday.

A second storm system rolling in from the Pacific Monday also looks to be a good snow producer for the San Juans, but forecast details are still sketchy, with some models showing an open trough that could deliver snow with a northwest flow, while other forecasts are predicting a closed low that would have a more southwesterly component.

Weatherblog: Here we go again!

A strong jet stream and cold, moist air (marked by speckled clouds) are poised off the Pacific Northwest coast and prepared to dive toward Colorado starting Tuesday night.

NWS says 6 to 12 inches of snow possible across the high country of Colorado Tuesday night

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A winter storm watch is in effect starting Tuesday evening for most of Colorado’s north-central mountains and the northeastern plains. A strong and winter-like trough digging down out of the northwest is forecast to reach the I-70 corridor late Tuesday, bringing periods of heavy snow — up to 1 to 2 inches per hour — during the night.

Monday looks to be the warmest and driest day of the week, with high pressure ahead of the storm raising temps all the way to the upper 40s. For the rest of the week, look for highs in the 30s, with overnight lows in the teens.

Total snowfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches are possible before the storm moves out of the mountains Wednesday morning, transitioning to an upslope event for northeasten Colorado. According to the National Weather Service, the northern mountains and northern Front Range will once again be the main target, as moisture looks more limited in the central and southern part of the state.

High pressure returns briefly on Thursday, but a progressive storm track could bring yet another system to the area starting Friday evening, with models showing a big trough developing over the Great Basin. This system could start out with a southwest flow more favorable to the central mountains, so Aspen, Crested Butte and Vail could see their share of precipitation during the first part of the weekend.

As the storm moves over Colorado, flow is projected to be moist and out of the northwest, bringing a good chance of snow to the northwestern quadrant of the state.

Weatherblog: Fine weekend, storm possible mid-week

In Summit County, Copper Mountain reported the highest official snowfall total from recent storm, with 18 inches, while Frisco picked up 9.2 inches

Hoar frost forming on a log near Dillon Reservoir. Click here for more photos.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The pattern of fine-weather weekends with mid-week storms looks to continue the next few days, with warmup forecast Saturday through Monday, before the next storm system approaches the Colorado mountains starting sometime Tuesday.

Forecast highs in Frisco will range from the low to mid-40s the next few days, which is still a few degrees below normal. The average October 30 high in Frisco is 48 degrees. Lows are forecast in the low to mid-20s the next few nights, which is fairly close to normal. The average low this time of year is 18 degrees.

A weak system brushing the northern mountains Saturday night could deliver a few showers and breezy conditions, but otherwise fair weather is expected into early next week, when some forecast models show a significant Pacific trough approaching the area. The progressive storm track could bring another system to the area late in the week, just in time for opening day at Keystone and Copper Mountain. Continue reading


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