Storm may drop a few inches |

Storm may drop a few inches

Bret Hartman/Vail DailyLight snow in March has left a lot of grime around the valley. A storm forecast for Tuesday night was expected to leave a few inches behind.

VAIL ” After an early season that had ski areas boasting record snow levels, the traditionally biggest snow month ” March ” came and went with barely a whimper.

Sure, a couple of smaller storms dropped a few inches here and there, but it was nothing like previous years or even December and January, when the snow fell in enormous dumps.

With a few more days to go, though, it looks like March might roar a little bit on the way out, with 3 to 5 inches of snow predicted from a storm coming through Tuesday night. Similar to the past few systems that have moved through, however, the bulk of the storm will probably hit the southern part of the state.

“The biggest effect will be in the San Juans,” said Brian Avery, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “But the (central mountains) will see some precipitation, unsettled weather and lower temperatures for the rest of the week.”

By the weekend, he said, things should warm up with partly cloudy skies.

The storm coming through the state this week will continue to put us in wintry weather, with high winds at times and lows in the teens. By Friday, things should be drying out, Avery said.

Even with a sub-par March on the snow front, the ski areas in the central and northern part of the state have done OK, with plenty of base leftover from the earlier part of the season. That hasn’t been the case in the southern part of the state, which is looking at moderate drought conditions heading into spring, Avery said.

With snowpack in the Upper Colorado Basin at about 130 percent of normal, though, the outlook is good for a strong spring runoff and what promises to be an exceptional rafting and kayaking season.

Vail, Colorado

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