Snow and more snow predicted
December 30, 2003
Up to a foot of snow is predicted for the mountains from storms Tuesday and Thursday evening. And when end of the week storm clears out Saturday afternoon, forecasters say the High Country can expect another storm early next week.
“It just looks like we’re going to stay in an unsettled weather pattern for the next couple of weeks,” said Jim Daniels, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “These weather patterns have tended to be rather persistent.”
The next storm is far north of Hawaii in the Pacific and it will be guided to the Colorado mountains by a shift in the jet stream. It could bring up to 10 inches of snow, Daniels said. The storm system will also bring lots of gusty winds and cooler temperatures – teens for daily highs and lows near zero. Daniels said he expects visibility in higher elevations will be reduced by blowing snow.
“That strong upper level jet stream will punch across Northern California and the Great Basin,” Daniels said. “The storm will develop as it moves across the western U.S.”
The best chance for clear weather will occur this afternoon and evening, Daniels said, with conditions deteriorating again by late Thursday.
He said the storm predicted for Thursday and Friday is similar to the powerful storm that tracked into Wyoming just before Christmas, that left heavy snow across the central part of that state.
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Successive storms have piled up snow for the ski resorts. There is a 47-inch base at the top of Vail Mountain and a 34-inch mid-mountain base. Beaver Creek has a 35-inch base on top and a 31-inch base at mid mountain. So far this year, 108 inches of snow has fallen on Vail Mountain.
Tuesday’s storm coated roads and slowed motorists on area highways. Several fender-benders were reported.
Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or firstname.lastname@example.org