Garfield County faces White Christmas whack-a-mole for 2021

A snowboarder enjoys a fresh layer of snow on the slopes on opening day at Sunlight Mountain for the 2021-22 season last week.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Folks in Glenwood Springs and farther up the Roaring Fork Valley will likely wake up to a white Christmas on Saturday morning, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Tuesday.

Western Garfield County faces a lot more uncertainty, however.

Grand Junction-based National Weather Service Meteorologist Erin Walter said low-pressure storm systems converging from the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest should create a combination of snow and rain falling Thursday and into Friday.

Anticipated accumulated snowfall should bring more than an inch to Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. Meanwhile, Western Garfield County should see less than an inch of snowfall.

But with temperatures hovering in the low 40s between Parachute and Rifle, the real question is whether it will actually stick.

“For sure, in the higher terrain, we are expecting some snow,” Walter said. “The tricky part will be along the interstate.”

Walter said Thursday night should see light snowfall, while heavy precipitation is expected for Friday morning.

“It might be a snowy Christmas Eve,” she said. “But we might have a lull before additional snow showers come in Friday afternoon.”

For those trying to hit the slopes to close out the weekend, there’s a distinct chance it might be amid a couple of fresh powder days.

Walter said another storm cycle will likely hit the Roaring Fork Valley between Saturday and Sunday. Higher elevations should receive the brunt of snowfall.

Any elevations above 8,000 feet are expected to receive between 3-4 inches of snowfall. Another 1-2 inches should fall between Glenwood Springs and Glenwood Canyon.

“The snow is not as heavy,” Walter said. “But continuous snow is definitely appreciated for the ski resorts and mountain towns.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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