Snow made a late-summer debut Thursday on some of Colorado’s peaks and passes.
A dusting was captured in photos from Colorado Department of Transportation’s cameras on Copper Mountain, near Breckenridge. The mountain stands about 12,300 feet.
The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook Wednesday ahead of the wintry weather expected to hit some northern parts of Colorado. Forecasters predicted snow, winds up to 50 mph and hail as large as 2 inches across the plains.
Snow was also spotted Thursday along Interstate 70 on Vail Pass and at Loveland Ski Resort.
Some winter revelers beat the rush with snowmen at Keystone Resort.
Ahead of reports of the season’s first snowflakes, authorities closed roads in Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday. Near the Alpine Visitor Center, temperatures were in the upper 30s and snow pellets fell from the sky, according to weather reports.
Roads were reopened Thursday morning, Rocky Mountain National Park said in a tweet.
A dusting was also reported along Berthoud Pass, west of Denver.
Lower temperatures are expected across the state Thursday and Friday. In Colorado Springs, Thursday’s high is predicted at 76 degrees, the weather service reported. Temperatures could drop to the upper 40s to mid-50s by nighttime.
The light dusting comes after a week of unseasonably high temperatures statewide. In Colorado Springs, the city has broken the daily heat record three times in September.
Wednesday’s powder is less than significant, meteorologists at the National Weather Service said. But for snow-savvy states such as Colorado, the first sight of snow is more than just a candid photo opportunity. It’s a cultural tradition — the sound of a starting pistol for residents to dream of unpacking skis.
According to OpenSnow.com, another storm with the potential of snowfall will likely arrive over the mountains on Sept. 17. It will be unlikely to impact ski season, says the report.
The light dusting seen in the mountains is normal for this time of year, said Brad Carlberg, meteorologist with the Weather Service in Pueblo.
It’s also not uncommon to see temperatures in Colorado bounce from extreme highs to extreme lows in September, Carlberg said.
Last year, Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area was the first resort to open for the season in America, opening on Oct. 13. This was close to their earliest opening of Oct. 8 in 2011. Wolf Creek’s 2018 opening was shortly followed by Arapahoe Basin opening on Oct. 19 and Loveland Ski Area opening on Oct. 20.
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