winter storm

Colorado Braces for Season’s Biggest Snowstorm: Arapahoe Basin to Open

DENVER, COLORADO – A significant winter storm is on track to blanket parts of Colorado this coming weekend, according to the latest briefing by the National Weather Service’s Denver/Boulder office. The storm is expected to be one of the largest so far this season, delivering much-needed snowfall to multiple ski areas, including Arapahoe Basin, which has announced its season opening on October 29th.

The weather agency has elevated the Winter Storm Watch for the Central Mountains to a Winter Storm Warning, signaling the increased likelihood of severe weather impacts. Snow is forecast to roll into the north central mountains late tonight and persist through noon on Sunday. The heaviest snowfall is expected to occur Saturday evening.

In terms of snowfall estimates, Denver could see between 4-8 inches, Boulder 4-9 inches, and Evergreen is forecast to get 5-11 inches. For those planning on hitting the ski slopes, Breckenridge is expected to receive 6-13 inches of snow, while Vail could see between 5-15 inches. Colorado Springs and Fort Collins are also in the line of fire but are projected to receive lesser amounts—1-4 inches and 3-7 inches, respectively.

This NWS map shows expected impacts from the storm across the state.

This major winter weather event is not limited to the mountain areas. Snow is likely to spread to the Urban Corridor and NE Colorado Plains from Saturday afternoon into Sunday midday. The mercury is also expected to take a significant dip with much colder temperatures forecasted from Saturday through Monday. Given the dropping temperatures, snow is expected to accumulate on roads and other surfaces, creating potentially hazardous travel conditions.

The storm is anticipated to have widespread minor impacts and inconveniences across Colorado. However, moderate impacts that could disrupt daily life are predicted for Boulder, Fort Collins, and alpine areas across the state. Additionally, small isolated areas may experience severe impacts with major threats to property and life.

This NWS map shows the high and low range of snow expected by Sunday night.

Winter Storm Safety Tips

As we prepare for a significant winter weather event this weekend, safety should be a top priority for all residents and visitors in Colorado. Poor winter conditions can quickly escalate into hazardous situations. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay Off the Roads: If possible, avoid travel during the storm. Snowfall and icy conditions can make for dangerous driving.
  • Keep Emergency Supplies: Whether you’re at home or have to travel, keep extra blankets, food, and water nearby. A flashlight and a first-aid kit are also good to have.
  • Layer Up: Dress in multiple layers to maintain body heat. Don’t forget a hat, gloves, and waterproof boots.
  • Be Prepared at Home: Make sure you have sufficient medications and essential supplies at home in case you can’t go out for a couple of days.

Learn more with our complete mountain safety guide or read the full forecast from the National Weather Service here.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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