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The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado
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Wind and the Waiting Game

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Details

Unfortunately the big story on Sunday into Monday is not snow but wind, focused mostly on the northeastern mountains along the divide. This area roughly includes Rocky Mountain National Park, the Indian Peaks, Berthoud Pass, Winter Park, Jones Pass, Loveland Pass, Loveland, Abasin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper.

The graphs below show the wind speed (blue line) and wind gust (red dots) at three of these mountains, with data extending from 5am Saturday morning through 5am Monday morning. Wind gusts have been in the 40-60mph range.

Source: CAIC

 

These gusty winds across the north are begin generated by a storm track that is staying just to the northeast of Colorado. With some storm energy and moisture in close proximity to northeastern Colorado, the northeastern mountains saw not just wind on Sunday but a few snow showers and times of clouds as well. Similar weather should persist through Monday night.

From Tuesday through Saturday, all mountains should be dry and mostly sunny, though some clouds and gusty winds may continue for the northeastern mountains. Temperatures during this five-day stretch will warm quite a bit with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s around 10,000 feet, which is an altitude I roughly equate to mid mountain for many ski areas.

Our next chance for snow will start on Sunday 2/14 and continue through Monday night 2/15. It appears that the storm track will stay just to the northeast of Colorado once again, so I expect a similar snowfall pattern as we’re seeing now with winds, clouds, and the best chances of flurries or light accumulations across the northeastern mountains. There is still time for the forecast to change and to see this storm bring a bit more snow to all mountains, though there is a near zero chance that this becomes a significant storm for Colorado.

After the system on next Sunday and Monday, we should see another few days of dry weather, and then the next storm could move into Colorado on Friday 2/19, plus or minus a day.

Overall, the current weather pattern of a ridge (drier and warmer weather) over western North America and a trough (cooler, snowy) over eastern North America looks like it will hold through at least February 20th, and perhaps for many days after that. Don’t give up on powder this season, as the snow should make a comeback in late February or early March, but keep your expectations in check until then as we’ll likely see many bluebird days and few if any true powder days.

But hey, at least we have a Broncos Super Bowl victory to enjoy until the powder returns, eh?!

Chat with you again on Tuesday morning. As always, thanks for reading, even when it’s not snowing!

JOEL GRATZ

 

Geography Key

Northern Mountains
Steamboat, Granby, Beaver Creek, Vail, Ski Cooper, Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, Eldora, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass

Along the Divide
Loveland, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

East of the Divide
Eldora, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass

Central Mountains
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn

Southern Mountains
Telluride, Silverton, Durango, Wolf Creek (Telluride and Silverton are on the northern side of the southern mountains)


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