Forecasters: Snow is coming to Grand County this weekend
So how much snow fell last year? And will it be any signal of what’s to come for this winter?
Check out our online series of interactive charts, each indicating daily snowfall 2017-18 totals for Granby, Kremmling, Grand Lake and Winter Park, based on recorded data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Grand County may get a little jump-start on the winter season this week with a pair of storms that will soon be moving through the area.
On Tuesday morning the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for Colorado’s north central Rockies and portions of the northern Front Range. The hazardous weather outlook anticipates a plume of moist tropical air moving over the state throughout the day Tuesday and into the night that is expected to generate numerous showers and thunderstorms over the mountains this afternoon and evening, according to forecasters.
Officials from the National Weather Service expect widespread rainfall but noted the threat of flooding is low. Winds in the High Country are expected to commonly gust to 30 mph while some gusts could reach speeds in excess of 50 mph.
“There will also likely be accumulating snow on the highest mountain ridges, but this should stay above the highway passes,” forecasters predicted.
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Russell Danielson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Boulder, said Tuesday’s storm is a remnant of Hurricane Rosa, which has been spinning in the eastern Pacific.
“It (Tuesday’s storm front) is tropical in origin so it is rather warm,” Danielson explained. “The highest mountain peaks may pick up some snow but we are not expecting much outside of the highest peaks. The mid to upper levels are way to warm for this system in particular.”
Danielson said the anticipated snow accumulation on high mountain ridges would likely be minimal but visible. Danielson noted that anyone traveling through the areas forecasted for a hazardous weather outlook should keep an eye on changing conditions and prepare as necessary.
“What falls today and through the rest of the work week should really melt off,” he said. “The first good shot of accumulation comes Sunday and Monday for the higher elevations.”
SNOW: IT’S WHAT’S AHEAD
Grand County’s forecast for the rest of the week calls for a chance of rain showers, thunderstorms or snowfall nearly every day.
According to Danielson, a new storm front is expected to move through the region over the weekend. That storm system, originating in the Canadian Rockies, is expected to bring significantly colder air to the area.
“This storm is just going to be quite cold,” Danielson said. “There is a growing likelihood of a good snowstorm for the mountains. The valleys are still up in the air a bit. Assuming forecasts stay about what they are now it could be a good sticking snow that could be around for a while.”
The National Weather Service predicts a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before noon Wednesday and a high of 66 degrees. That is followed by a 50 percent chance of precipitation that evening.
Thursday is expected to be slightly colder, with a high of 60 degrees, and a 40 percent chance of precipitation in the form of rain showers and thunderstorms after noon. Friday is expected to be cooler still, with a high of 58 during the day and a low of 27 Friday night. There is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon on Friday. Friday night’s colder weather could bring a mix of both rain showers and snow after 10 p.m.
Saturday could bring measurable snow to the area as forecasters predicate a slight chance of snow before 11 a.m. that morning. For the remainder of Saturday, forecasters predict a chance of rain and snow showers, as well as some possible thunder. For Saturday night there is a possibility of both rain and snow between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. followed by possible snowfall after 4 a.m.
The trend continues Sunday and Monday, when Danielson said forecasters are anticipating the highest likelihood of solid snowfall.
Sunday calls for a chance of rain and snow showers with a high near 52. On Sunday night, the low is expected to be around 27 degrees with a continued chance of both rain and snow showers. Monday’s expected high temperature, 49 degrees, will coincide with a chance of snow showers.
Looking ahead, Danielson said the National Weather Service expects the High Country to experience a pretty standard early season snowfall pattern hewing to historic norms. He noted North America is heading into an El Niño weather cycle, but said the affects of El Niño would mostly be felt during the winter.
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