Vail has snow in the forecast for the next seven days … and possibly more
Mixed forecasts look optimistic for two weeks straight
February snowfall is off to a strong start, and it looks like snow may fall every day in the valley through the next week though forecasters are not all in agreement over what days or times will see the most accumulations.
Snow showers are expected to begin Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. The NWS forecast predicts 1 to 3 inches by Wednesday morning, with a 40% chance that showers will continue throughout the day and then settle in the evening. According to the forecast, Thursday will be mostly dry with winds gusting as high as 30 mph until another set of snow showers returns that evening and stays throughout Friday evening. Precipitation will then continue throughout the weekend, though areas of lower elevation might see some rain due to warmer temperatures.
Meteorologist Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com took a less-specific approach to his forecast, admitting “the latest forecast models are all over the place.”
“I have low confidence in the timing of the most intense snow and the amount of accumulation,” Gratz wrote on his blog. Nonetheless, OpenSnow.com predicts 15 inches in the next five days.
Avalanche watch in effect
As Eagle County mourns the recent loss of four beloved locals in two different avalanches last week, officials are urging those venturing into the backcountry to take extra precaution.
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The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche watch that will be effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. “An incoming storm will bring up to a foot of snow with moderate westerly winds,” the statement says. “If we meet or exceed the upper end of forecast snowfall, very dangerous avalanche conditions will develop by Wednesday. Avalanches big enough to bury or kill a person will be very easy to trigger and some will run naturally.”
Backcountry skiers can expect warnings and watches to be issued throughout the coming weeks as we brace for a stormy month, in an already-deadly avalanche season.
Extended forecast speaks of a snowy February
Albeit mixed, many forecast models show potential for stormy conditions daily all the way through February 21. Weather.com currently has the least-optimistic outlook, with only five days of potentially dry weather throughout that time period.
“As a long-range forecast, all we can ask for is to be in this situation, with chances for snow continuing 1-2 weeks into the future. Let’s hope these storms deliver,” Gratz wrote.