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Ski resorts will see 10 days of spring snowstorms beginning Saturday

Spring officially arrived this week, but winterlike weather will return to the high country this weekend with a 10-day storm cycle bringing 10 to 20 inches of snow to most Colorado mountains through Easter.

Some will do a lot better than that. The OpenSnow forecasting and reporting service is predicting Telluride to receive 38 inches over the 10 days, and Wolf Creek is forecast to receive 35 inches. Both will close for the season on the Sunday following Easter.

“We are still looking forward to multiple storms bringing snow to Colorado, beginning Saturday night and continuing through early April,” OpenSnow founding meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote in Friday’s forecast. “The average of multiple snow forecasts shows that total snowfall from Saturday night through next Sunday will be in the 10-20 inch range for most areas, with a chance for greater than two feet in some favored spots.”

Individual resort forecasts are calling for steady doses of snow over the 10-day period, rather than massive 24-hour accumulations, but it will add up. Over the next five days, OpenSnow is forecasting 23 inches for Telluride, 19 for Wolf Creek and 14 for Powderhorn. Resorts expected to receive 11-12 inches include Beaver Creek, Vail, Loveland, Purgatory, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Winter Park.

In the following five days, Wolf Creek can expect another 16 inches, Telluride 15 and Snowmass 14. Twelve inches is forecast for Vail and Steamboat. Resorts predicted to receive six to 11 inches during that period include Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Loveland, Cooper, Sunlight, Winter Park, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Powderhorn and Purgatory.

“The only downside to the upcoming storm cycle,” Gratz reported, “is that temperatures will not be all that cold, so some of the snow could be a bit on the thicker side, and during breaks of sunshine, the snow might turn mushy. But so it goes with snowstorms in the spring.”

Despite having more than three feet of new snow, Telluride will close April 7 as scheduled.

“We’re strict with our closing day,” said Telluride spokesman Sabastian Wee, “so no chance it changes.”

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