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December 10, 2012
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Snow boosts valley's mood

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - It looks like snowy weather may be more than a weekend guest in the Vail Valley.

Over the last seven days, more than a foot - much more than a foot in some places - has finally erased the valley's predominantly brown late-fall landscape. And in a place built for playing in the snow, that's very good news.

"The people I've seen who are going (skiing) this morning seem very excited, but everyone who has to work is disappointed," said Wren Witter of Yeti's Grind coffee shop in Vail.

At Troy's Ski Shop in Vail Village, owner Troy Goldberg hit the hill first thing, leaving the rest of the crew to run the shop.

Mike VanVelkenburg said the mood in the Village is "much, much better" than it had been. And one regular group of Troy's customers stumbled into the best snow of the year.

VanVelkenburg said the group had been thinking about calling off its annual trip, but came anyway, just in time for the best snow of the year.

And the snow could keep coming. Joel Gratz, a meteorologist with OpenSnow.com, Monday published a forecast that indicates snow tapering off from Tuesday through Thursday of this week, but calls for more snow starting next weekend. While Gratz's forecast calls for snow throughout the Colorado Rockies, he wrote that the state's southern mountains could be hardest-hit.

The National Weather Service forecast for Vail through Dec. 15 is less optimistic, calling just for a "slight chance" of snow Dec. 14.

But Gratz predicts that the "storm track," a flow of cold air that runs west to east across North America, would drop farther south, perhaps as soon as next week. That storm track - the north side of which generally experiences colder weather and snow - had been languishing almost along the Canadian border just a couple of weeks ago, and dropped to the south at the beginning of last week. The forecast for next week shows the storm tracking diving even farther to the south. That could mean still more snow.

In Beaver Creek, Coyote Cafe manager Kevin Barry said people there were doing happy snow dances, but were still being cautious.

"People are getting excited," Barry said. But you don't want to get too excited or it might stop snowing."


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 10, 2012 08:32PM Published Dec 10, 2012 08:29PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.