Some of Colorado’s ski resorts could see as much as a foot of snow this week as a storm moves across the Rocky Mountains.
The storm is slated to kick off late Thursday night and extend into Saturday morning. While Summit County’s mountains will receive moderate snow, the mountains in the north and south of the state will really reap the benefits of the storm.
The meteorologist-run blog OpenSnow reports that Copper Mountain Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort could take the majority of the snow in the mountains surrounding Summit County. Copper Mountain could see anywhere from 4-8 inches and Breckenridge Resort could see 3-6 inches. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Keystone Ski Resort could get 1-4 inches over the weekend.
North of Frisco and north of Vail Pass should see more snow than Summit County. The prediction from the National Weather Service calls for 10-11 inches in those areas.
“Looks like the higher amounts of snow could be applied towards Steamboat,” Jim Kalina with the National Weather Service said.
Kalina said Steamboat could have as much as a foot of snow over the weekend. He noted that the National Weather Service expects both Vail Mountain and Winter Park Resort to get around 6-10 inches of snow.
The ski resorts in the Aspen area are expected to get 8-10 inches of snow out of the storm, according to the National Weather Service.
This storm is going to produce snow with a 15:1 snow water equivalent ratio.
“It’s not going to be the light powdery stuff, but it’s not going to be super wet either. It’s kind of in the middle,” Kalina said.
OpenSnow reports that the Rockies could snag a few extra inches of fluffy snow if light winds out of the northwest can crank up the orographic snow machine.
The blog explained that when forecasting snow for mountains, the biggest forecasting secret is to find the wind direction that favors rising air. It explained that wind flowing freely hitting a mountain head-on and being forced to rise will create the heaviest snowfall. If the winds hit just right in the Rockies, it could lead to more snow.
While the weekend will start off with average temperatures, things will cool down significantly by Saturday in Summit County. Kalina said temperatures will start off in the 40s and plummet from there.
“Saturday night is one below, so it’s gonna be really chilly … Sunday morning. It’s going to be a big cool down starting tonight,” Kalina said.
Vail, Aspen, and Winter Park will see a similar pattern with temperatures dropping to 0 degrees or below on the weekend nights.
According to OpenSnow, Steamboat’s temperature will stay fairly consistently in the teens throughout the weekend.
Winter Park will have the most intense winds, with OpenSnow reporting they will reach 60 miles per hour on Thursday. From Friday on, they will be in the 20-30 mile per hour range.
Winds in Summit, Vail, and Aspen are predicted to be in the 20-30 mile per hour range throughout the weekend.