Snow forecast for mountains |

Snow forecast for mountains

Alex Miller
Mark Fox/The Aspen Times Tyler Williams, with Aspen Highlands, runs water through one of the snow machines at the base of the Highlands.

EAGLE COUNTY ” After an early October snowstorm that lifted skiers’ hearts, the last few weeks have been on the warm and dry side.

That should change overnight Friday, as the National Weather Service announced a snow advisory for the Colorado mountains, predicting 4 to 8 inches of snow above 9,000 feet.

Joe Ramey, a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the storm system from the Pacific is combining with a cold front that was over Utah Friday to produce the snow.

“It’ll be a one-two punch,” Ramey said. “This first storm will clear late Saturday, but into Sunday and Sunday night, a stronger surge of unstable air is coming in.”

That could produce another 6 inches of snow, he said.

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The storm changes several weeks of mostly dry, sunny weather. While totals for the month aren’t in yet, Ramey said it appeared that many days in October have been 5 to 8 degrees warmer than average.

That’s made things a bit of challenge for ski areas like Copper Mountain trying to make snow. But the resort – which plans to be the third to open for the season next Friday – is on track, according to spokeswoman Lauren Pelletreau.

“We’ve had the snowmaking guns on every night, but turning them off during the day as it’s gotten warmer and it’s not snow anymore,” she said. “But any help we can get from Mother Nature is great.”

Vail Mountain plans to open for the season Nov. 18, followed Nov. 23 by Beaver Creek. Vail plans to begin making snow Tuesday, weather permitting, spokeswoman Jen Brown said.

“But we always love the natural stuff,” Brown said. “Traditionally we always seem to have a Halloween storm, so this year we’re right on track.”

Unlike the month’s earlier, very wet storm, this one should put down more wintry powder, Ramey said.

“Here we go,” he said. “We’re putting up snow now that’ll be up there until next summer.”

Alex Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 615, or

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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