Glenwood Springs receives good snowfall overnight, local skier dude ‘antsy’ for good season

A man shovels snow off of picnic tables at a downtown Glenwood Springs restaurant after an overnight snowstorm in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Glenwood Springs’ residents woke up to city snow plows clearing streets and shop owners shoveling sidewalks Tuesday morning after the area received decent snowfall overnight.

Grand Junction-based National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Stearns said Tuesday morning that Glenwood Springs received between 2-3 inches from Monday to Tuesday.

“Overall,” he said, “we’re going to continue with unsettled weather patterns that we have over the next six days.”

He said temperatures in the Glenwood Springs area will remain below freezing throughout Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday, however, should see temperatures rise to upper 30s and 40s.

But, with a new storm system coming in this weekend, temperatures are once again expected to dip between Thursday and Friday. Stearns said the area should see another couple inches of snowfall throughout the weekend.

Longer term, Glenwood Springs is expected to receive about 11 inches of accumulated snowfall throughout December. 

“This is basically on par with La Nina, so no big surprises there,” he said. “The southwest portion of the state is above normal for snowfall. The north is at normal.”

La Niña is a weather pattern triggered by cooler sea-surface temperatures across the east-central Pacific Ocean, bringing a variable polar jet stream into the north-central Rocky Mountain region. The opposing El Niño pattern is caused by above-average sea-surface temperatures and a more direct southwestern Pacific flow.

Sunlight Mountain Ski & Bike Shop Retail Supervisor John Hanson said on Tuesday that predicting weather forecasts is like searching for the Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, as long as temperatures remain low enough, Sunlight Mountain Resort snowmakers can continue to work its magic.

“One of the things that is consistent,” he said, “if the temps stay cold, everyone with a snow gun is using it.”

Hanson is a skier of 40 years. He’s traversed the mountains of Oregon and the Alps of Europe before spending the past four years here in Colorado. One way to more accurately predict a good winter season is to look south.

Hanson said if places like South America had a good winter season, there’s a good chance the Roaring Fork Valley could be shredding loads of fresh powder.

He’s antsy, he said.

“They got nuked with snow this year,” he said of the Southern Hemisphere. “You talk about antsy? That’s why we’re double antsy this year.”

Sunlight Mountain Resort is right now only open on the weekends, with it being scheduled to fully open seven days a week by Dec. 9.

That date could be bumped up with adequate snow accumulation or pushed back if snow doesn’t persist.

“It just depends on how much snow we get,” Hanson said.

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