As the Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski areas approach season openings that they hope to make happen in mid- to late October, Mother Nature appears ready to offer a boost this weekend with the arrival of cooler weather in the high country.
Loveland spokesman John Sellers said crews there are preparing for temperatures that might allow them to begin snowmaking operations. They also are anticipating some natural snowfall.
Low temperatures for those areas are expected to drop into the upper 20s Friday night into Saturday morning and again Saturday night. After that, snowmaking conditions are expected to be even better. Kari Bowen of the National Weather Service in Boulder said those mountains could see much cooler temperatures early next week.
“Overnight Sunday into Monday you’re looking at lows in the low 20s. Monday night into Tuesday, lows are going to be probably in the upper teens to low 20s,” Bowen said. “Highs on Tuesday are probably only going to get to right around freezing.”
Bowen also sees potential snowfall from a disturbance approaching from the northwest this weekend.
“We’re definitely looking at some decent chances of the Loveland Pass-Arapahoe Basin area potentially seeing some snowfall Friday into Saturday,” Bowen said.
Arapahoe Basin opened last year on Oct. 13, and Loveland opened eight days later. Loveland’s opening this season will be a special occasion because the old Lift 1, a slow triple that was traditionally the first to open, has been replaced by a high-speed quad chair for this season. Arapahoe Basin also is getting a new lift, but it will serve steeper terrain that isn’t likely to be skiable when the area opens.