Winter storms to paint Glenwood Springs white with snowfall |

Winter storms to paint Glenwood Springs white with snowfall

Feb. 19 was busiest day in Sunlight Mountain Resort’s history

Operations continue at Sunlight Mountain Resort despite little snow accumulation in recent weeks.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

A pair of winter storms could dump up to 8 inches of snow on Glenwood Springs this week and up to 12 inches on Sunlight Mountain Resort, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

The NWS issued a winter storm watch beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday in anticipation of significant precipitation and extreme low temperatures, but snow could fly as early as Monday night, Meteorologist Kris Sanders said.

“There’s some light snow that has started in the higher elevations, but it could move into the valleys starting (Monday) evening,” Sanders said. “We have a weak system moving through right now, but we could see wind gusts (Monday night) up to 20-30 mph.”

Beginning Tuesday, a second and stronger system is forecast to move over the Western Slope, dropping temperatures throughout the region and bringing significant precipitation.

“Between Tuesday and Wednesday, you’ll likely see 4-8 inches of snow in Glenwood Springs, 8-12 inches in Glenwood Canyon and 6-12 inches higher in the mountains,” Sanders said.

At Sunlight, the snows are a welcome sight following weeks of dry and warmer than average temperatures, said Troy Hawks, Sunlight’s marketing and sales director.

“Before this batch of snow last week, we were beginning to wonder if we would make it through the season,” Hawks said. “But we got 7 inches last week, and if we get what they’re forecasting, we should be good through the rest of spring.”

With just about 40 days left in the ski season, Sunlight is scheduled to close its slopes April 3.

Despite lackluster snowfall through January and the first half of February, people are still visiting in droves, Hawks said.

For two seasons in a row, the resort has set new records for season pass sales, and on Feb. 19, the resort experienced its busiest day in history, Hawks said.

“We’re super excited to see more snow on the way,” he said. “But we’re also looking forward to a little bit of a slow-down before the Spring Break rush hits us mid-March.”

Anticipated snowfall aside, most of the Western Slope remains deep in historic drought conditions, made worse by long dry spells leading up to and immediately following Christmas 2021.

Snowpack is holding strong at 96% of average for the Upper Colorado River Headwaters, which encompasses Garfield County and portions of neighboring counties east and west, reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. But north of Garfield County and south of Gunnison, snowpack reports are slipping into the 80% of average ranges.

Following this week’s winter storms, Sanders said dry conditions could return and high temperatures could be in the 40s by Sunday.

“This might be it for a little bit,” he said. “There’s not another big storm on the near horizon.”

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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