Memorial Day weekend forecast has the possibility of snow in the High Country

Monday will be the nicest day of the holiday weekend

There's a chance for snow in the Vail Valley over Memorial Day weekend.
John LaConte/Vail Daily archive

If you’re planning to be outside this Memorial Day weekend, you’re probably going to want to bring a jacket and wear long pants. You might want to leave the sandals in the closet.

The National Weather Service’s Memorial Day forecast for parts of the Colorado High Country calls for precipitation, including a chance of snow, throughout the weekend.

For Eagle County, the forecast calls for a slight chance of thunderstorms and rain showers starting Friday night and continuing into Saturday, with a chance of rain or snow on Sunday. But there will also be stretches of sunshine, with a Saturday high of 60 degrees Fahrenheit near Vail.

The Summit County forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of snow showers on Friday night near Frisco, with a low around 28 and winds that could gust as high as 24 mph. There’s a 40 percent chance of snow showers, mainly after noon, on Saturday, and it will be breezy with a high near 44. Saturday night will bring a 30 percent chance of snow showers, and possibly some thunder, mainly before midnight.

There’s also a chance of snow showers on Sunday, and some possible thunder, with a high of 39.

Support Local Journalism

Dennis Phillips, a forecaster in the Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service, said the weekend weather will continue the cool, moist weather pattern we’ve seen over the past few weeks.

Phillips said those storms have been coming from the Pacific Northwest, with the storm track being pushed down from the north.

Phillips said the weekend system should move through the Rockies a little more quickly than the past few weather patterns.

And, while the forecast calls for the prospect of snow, Phillips said that could be due to the temperature getting close to the mid-30s that time of day. Phillips said he expects mostly rain in much of the region

And, Phillips added, while there’s a solid chance of Saturday precipitation for the area, the storms west of Vail Pass look like they’ll come through later in the day. Conversely, the Summit County forecast calls for precipitation early, then clear skies later in the day.

Phillips, a Grand Junction resident, is, like many of us, waiting for the “big bubble of no trouble” — warm, dry weather — that high pressure brings in the early summer. Until that happens, he noted, the cool, moist weather we’ve had across much of the Western Slope has been good news for slowing the melt of the winter’s snowpack and has eased local fire danger.

“We haven’t had to put out any red flag (fire weather) warnings,” he said.

Given the variability of May’s weather so far, the Colorado Department of Transportation is ready for just about anything.

Department public information officer Elise Thatcher said plow crews will be on hand if needed. And, she noted, May’s cool, moist weather has delayed some seasonal road openings. Independence Pass between Aspen and Leadville often opens Memorial Day weekend but is now expected to open June 1.   

Support Local Journalism