Strong snowstorm coming in behind this morning’s extreme cold
Grand County experienced some of the coldest temperatures in the state Tuesday night into this morning with the Fraser Flats hitting a balmy -31 degrees.
It was not the lowest temperature in the state — Antero Reservoir recorded -43 — but other parts of the county went well below -15. Red Dirt Hill and Granby both saw a low of -23, and Kremmling hit -21. Tabernash’s low was recorded at -18 and Berthoud Pass reached -16.
While the cold temperatures in Grand County will rise a few degrees in the coming days, a winter storm remains on track to produce significant snowfall for the High Country starting today.
The National Weather Service is forecasting prolonged periods of heavy snow and strong winds that could make travel difficult if not impossible at elevations above 9,000 feet in Grand. Snow accumulation of 1-3 feet is expected with wind gusts up to 60 mph over the mountain passes. A wind chill as low as -25 degrees is possible.
The county remains under a hazardous weather outlook for the storm with winds picking up later today and chances of snow in the afternoon and evening. Snow coverage and intensity will increase after midnight, according to forecasters.
OpenSnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz is predicting powder days Thursday and Friday at Winter Park Resort. He is forecasting moderate snow Thursday, turning heavy Thursday night through Friday, with additional accumulations after the chairlifts close.
Gratz warned the storm could bring higher temperatures and create strong winds on Friday, which could lead to thicker, denser powder and possible lift delays or closures due to the wind.
Gratz predicted drier weather Saturday morning into Saturday night with light snow returning Sunday into Monday.
An extended forecast from Granby Ranch has the resort expecting more snow on Thursday and Friday with accumulations up to a foot or more by Saturday morning.
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Over the past few days, a dozen fresh inches of snow dropped on Winter Park Resort.