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Very cold on Monday, with warming temperatures through the week. The next 10 days will be dry, with the only exception being a chance for snow showers with minimal accumulation on Tuesday night along and north of I-70. The next chance of snow appears to be sometime during the middle of next week, around the 18th or so.
Since I'll be at Abasin early Monday morning to shoot a short video about OpenSnow, I'm posting on Sunday night so I can sleep a bit on Monday AM:-) If you're at the Basin as the lifts start turning, come say hi to the guy in a yellow jacket and blue helmet!
This weekend's storm was great in the southern mountains (12-20 inches), pretty good in the central mountains (5-10 inches), and OK to a bit disappionting in the northern mountains with 2-10 inches. Beaver Creek, Vail, and Steamboat did well with about 6-10 inches, but Summit County saw just a few inches. By the time the winds switched to northwest early Sunday morning, much of the moisture was already gone. I was hoping the combination of northwest winds and decent moisture would have created at least a few hours of heavier snow on Sunday morning along I-70, but the moisture didn't cooperate. Bummer!
The air will be cold and very dry on Monday and Monday night. There might be some crystals floating around, but I'm not expecting any widespread accumulation.
A storm will clip northern Colorado on Tuesday night, and this might bring snow showers and light accumulations (1-3") for the mountains along and north of I-70.
From Wednesday through the weekend, temperatures will warm into the 20s and 30s for highs and the weather should be dry.
By the middle of next week, the northern storm track might drop back south again with chances of snow for the northern mountains. The models are showing a lot of variability in the 10 day forecast, so I can't offer any additional details about next week until it gets closer. If you're looking for snow between now and then, head north to British Columbia, Washington, northern Idaho, and northern Montana.
PS - I skied Beaver Creek and Vail this weekend, and the mountains were empty, I guess because of the cold weather. Too bad for the folks that stayed home, as the conditions were great with soft and playful snow. Really, really fun skiing, especially with a few inches of fresh on top Sunday morning. Too bad the snow machine will turn off for about 10 days, but hopeful we'll get into a good pattern again later this month.
This morning will be the best time to ski fresh snow in at least the next 8-10 days, so enjoy it. A few more inches are possible between sunrise and midday with on-and-off snow squalls. Expect dry weather for the rest of the week with the exception of light snow for I-70 and north on Tuesday night.
The storm moved through overnight with heavy snow as expected for southern Colorado. Accumulations topped a foot at Durango and likely Wolf Creek (not reported yet).
Central Colorado didn't see as much snow as I thought with about 3-6 inches on the morning reports.
Resorts along and north of I-70 saw about 2-4 inches overnight, except for Powderhorn which reported 14" from their perch on the Grand Mesa east of Grand Junction.
Snow squalls with bring an additional few inches this morning to central and northern Colorado, then these showers should dissipate by about 10am to noon.
Sunday night and Monday will offer one more night and day of very cold temperatures, then readings will moderate through the rest of the week with 20s for highs by Thursday and Friday.
After a snowy a cold week, it looks like we'll see dry and more normal temperatures for the next 10 days. There could be a few inches of snow Tuesday night for the mountains along and north of I-70, and perhaps some showers on Saturday, but other than this I don't see any snow for the next week and half.
The European, American, and Canadian models are showing a return to snowy weather (at least for northern Colorado) in about 10 days, so let's hope that happens. Our snowpack is in great shape, but it'll be nice to have significant snow again before the holidays to get additional terrain open.
Enjoy this morning!
Snow will increase Saturday afternoon, fall heavily Saturday night, and taper off by midday Sunday. The deepest accumulations will be in the central and southern mountains with lighter accumulations in the northern mountains. Sunday morning will be the best powder day across the state for at least the next 10 days.
The very cold air over Colorado will warm up a bit on Saturday. This will be nice for your skin, and will also put the atmosphere into a perfect state to efficiently create snow on Saturday night. The temperatures over the last two days were actually too cold to create big dendrite snowflakes, hence the crystals in the air with little accumulation.
Snow will begin to fall on Saturday with a few inches accumulating by afternoon in the southern mountains and the south-central mountains around Irwin, Crested Butte, and Monarch. Further north along I-70, the wind from the southwest or west-southwest will keep snow accumulations light. All of the snow that falls on Saturday will be a bonus as the best energy from the storm will not arrive until Saturday night.
By Saturday night, the main part of the storm will be over Colorado with heavy snow for areas from Aspen south to Crested Butte and the southern mountains. This storm won't have a lot of moisture, but the atmosphere will efficiently turn this moisture into snow with temperatures at mountaintop around 5-10 degrees.
On Sunday morning, the snow will taper off in the central and southern mountains but increase along I-70 as the wind switches to blow from the northwest. This heavier snow will likely last through late morning or midday, but it's possible that on-and-off snow squalls persist for northern Colorado through Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.
Accumulations will be about 4-7 inches for the northern mountains, about 6-10+ inches for the central mountains, 8-12+ inches for the southern mountains. Detailed forecasts are here: http://opsw.co/CO1-5
Temperatures will bottom out on Monday morning, then begin to warm up next week. Unfortunately, the storm that I was hoping would materialize for next Friday is likely going to miss us, so it appears our weather will be dry for at least the next 10 days. Both the American and European models are showing a return toward a stormier pattern in about 10-14 days, so let's hope that transpires and our snowpack stays on the right side of average.
The next storm will bring snow to all of Colorado Saturday night and Sunday. The southern half of the state will see the most snow on Saturday night, while the northern half including I-70 will see the best accumulations Sunday morning. Most of next week will be dry and warmer.
It's super cold this morning and the state looks like a winter postcard with snow covering nearly all mountains, valleys, and trees. What a gorgeous sight!
There might be some clouds and crystals in the air today, but there will not be any snow accumulation.
The next storm moves toward Colorado from the southwest on Saturday. This storm is weaker and has less moisture than the storm on Tuesday night. However, temperatures during the upcoming storm will be near perfect for efficient snow production, so this positive factor might somewhat cancel out the negative factors of less moisture and energy.
For the southern mountains (Telluride, Silverton, Durango, Wolf Creek) and the south-central mountains (Crested Butte, Irwin, Monarch), snow will increase late Saturday afternoon and become heavy Saturday night. Accumulations for these areas could be 8-12 inches or more by midday Sunday.
For the Aspen and Sunlight areas, snow will become heavier late Saturday night into Sunday morning with total accumulations around 4-8 inches.
Along I-70 and north to Steamboat, an inch or two of snow might fall Saturday night, but the best snow won't start until 2-5am Sunday morning and will last through midday Sunday. Total accumulations will be about 3-6 inches, with more in spots that traditionally do well in northwest flow on Sunday AM. If the current timing holds, the Sunday AM snow reports might not show much, but good snow would fall after these 5am reports and last through late morning.
You can view my detailed forecast for each mountain here: http://opsw.co/CO1-5
It'll be extremely cold once again on Monday morning, then we'll warm up through next week. There's a chance for another storm on Friday December 13th, but the models are now trending toward a splitting storm with energy going north and south of Colorado, and if this holds it won't lead to a big snow producer. I'll keep an eye on it. Maybe that's fitting for a Friday the 13th storm...
Enjoy the fantastic early-season conditions, and great to see a lot of folks at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder last night!
Holy coldness! Temperatures started around -10 to -20 degrees this morning and will only get into the single digits today. Conditions are awesome, just try to stay warm as you enjoy the snow!
Yesterday's storm behaviored similar to how I thought it would evolve, though there were surprises. The central and southern mountains saw the heavier snow start earlier than I thought, so they had the highest totals. The northern mountains didn't get as much of a kick from the cold front as I thought, so totals here were at or below the low end of my forecast. And Loveland and Ski Cooper saw a surprising amount of snow on Tuesday during the day, and I still haven't figured out why (mostly likely due to a narrow band of energy in the upper part of the atmosphere that was impossible to forecast or see in real-time).
I updated the Keep Me Honest page (http://opensnow.com/about/keepmehonest) which shows my forecast compared to the actual totals. You can scroll down that page and see data for the last 3-4 years.
Here are the highest totals from the storm:
- Wolf Creek - 23
- Monarch - 20
- Durango - 18
- Loveland - 17
- Crested Butte - 17
- Telluride - 16
- Ski Cooper - 15
- Aspen Mtn - 14
- Snowmass - 14
- Vail - 12
- Sunlight - 12
- Steamboat - 11
- Breckenridge - 11
Today and Friday will be cold but there won't be much or any new snow accumulation. There could be a few flurries or light snow showers in the afternoon each day, but this won't amount to much.
The next storm moves in on Saturday and lasts through Sunday afternoon.
The southern mountains will see the heaviest snow on Saturday night, with 8-12 inches possible for a storm total.
The central mountains from Aspen south to Crested Butte will also see the heaviest snow on Saturday night, with about 4-8 inches.
The northern mountains along and north of I-70 will see the heaviest snow late Saturday night or more likely Sunday morning through midday. I'm expecting about 2-4 or 3-6 inches here.
This storm won't be very energetic and won't have much moisture, but the cold air will be efficient at creating snow. If we get dendrite crystals to pile up (imagine a "perfect" snowflake shape), then it'll easy for the snow to measure deeper than my forecast. Let's hope this happens!
Also, don't forget that you can see all the forecast details and click through each mountain for webcams, temperatures, etc: http://opsw.co/CO1-5
Next Monday through Thursday will be dry, then another storm will likely move in on Friday-ish (December 13th). It's too far away to know how strong this storm will be, but most models agree on its arrival next Friday.
For those of you in Boulder, come to Neptune Mountaineering tonight as I'll be giving a short talk at 8pm to open for Jason McGowin's (La Sportiva) show, "Skiing Light and Fast in the Backcountry." https://www.facebook.com/NeptuneMountaineering/events
View individual forecasts
- Arapahoe Basin
- Aspen Highlands
- Aspen Mountain
- Beaver Creek
- Berthoud Pass
- Cameron Pass
- Copper Mountain
- Crested Butte
- Echo Mountain
- Loveland Ski Area
- Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Ski Cooper
- Ski Granby Ranch
- Winter Park
- Wolf Creek