Second round of snow-bearing storms arriving in Colorado Thursday, Wolf Creek ski area opens this weekend

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Footsteps in the snow along Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail, which partly follows former rail lines through the mountain town’s historic mining district. A new Irish Miner’s Memorial project at the historic Evergreen Cemetery in the mountain town will recognize as many as 2,500 Irish immigrant miners buried there, in unmarked graves.

Higher elevations are likely to see more snow Thursday, just days after the first significant winter storm of the season dropped several inches of snow on mountain communities from the Western Slope to southern Wyoming, causing traffic jams and some temporary road closures. 

The National Weather Service said that starting Thursday afternoon, the northern I-25 corridor will likely see rain and possibly a few flakes. Light snow is more likely at higher elevations in the mountains and on the Western Slope.

“A slushy half inch is possible for the Denver metro, ” said Russel Danielson, a meteorologist with the NWS in Boulder. “The south side of Denver may get more of a dusting.”

Tuesday's storm left areas south of Montrose with up to 7 inches of snow. Vail Pass recorded around 3 inches. Grand Lake and Nederland saw around 1.5 inches. 

After getting more than a foot of snow this week, Wolf Creek in southwest Colorado declared it will open this weekend, the first ski area to do so in the state, although only a handful of runs will be available. Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone have all said they plan to open by the end of October too.

The storm system had a statewide impact, leading to a grab bag of extreme conditions. Since Tuesday morning, the NWS has issued separate warnings for tornadoes, fire weather, snow, high winds and freezing temperatures across various regions.

"It’s a fun time of year," said Danielson. "These transition seasons -- fall, spring -- you can get all kinds of hazards during the same storm."

“We encourage you to stay weather aware and check the forecast often!,” the NWS tweeted.