The big storm from Sunday and Monday is now long gone with plenty of snow remaining on the ground near and above treeline. Wednesday should be mostly dry with a few showers in the south, and Thursday will be the same. On Friday, a fast-moving, cool, and mostly dry storm will bring colder temperatures to northern Colorado with a dusting to an inch or two of snow. Then after mostly dry weather on Saturday and Sunday, a very cold storm should bring snow down to 5,000 feet on Monday with the deepest totals east of the divide.
Short Term Forecast
If only the storm on October 1-2 occurred two or three months later!
That was a great system as it dropped 10-15 inches from Aspen north to I-70. Areas further north and west, like the Flattops, Steamboat, and Cameron Pass, saw 20+ inches. Yahooooo!
Turns were made on Cameron Pass:
And turns were made on Jones Pass as well. Here is a link to 45-second drone footage:
A wonderful before/after sequence looking at Beaver Creek:
I received a note from a reader that tried to skin and ski Loveland but was turned away. With early-season storms, we're all itching to get out. At resorts, there is a lot of activity on the mountain as they are getting snowmaking ready for the season and finishing summer maintenance projects. So before you assume that you can go uphill, ask around. Every resort is different, and I love that some might allow uphill travel, and also respect those that don't want people on the hill with on-going maintenance. If you're in the backcountry, remember that if there's enough snow to ski, there's enough snow to slide.
Not much happening now
On Wednesday, we are in between precipitation to our east and a slow-moving storm over northern Nevada and Utah.
Expect a few showers on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, especially over the southern mountains, but otherwise, each day will be mostly dry and gorgeous with snow-capped peaks and fall color remaining on the Aspen trees.
Weak storm on Friday
That storm over northern Nevada and northern Utah will cross Colorado on Friday. It will mostly bring wind and cooler temperature, and only a little bit of snow to the northern and central mountains. Expect a dusting to an inch or two. Areas east of the divide might see a tad more, but overall this will not be a major storm.
Saturday and Sunday should be mostly dry.
Then a VERY COLD storm will arrive on Sunday night and the cool weather will continue through much of next week.
Along with the cold air, expect snow on Sunday night through Monday, with snow levels getting down to 5,000 feet or so. That means accumulating snow is possible in the Denver metro area. Road surfaces will likely stay mostly wet due to the relatively high sun angle of early October, but there could be some accumulation at night, on overpasses, or on areas that are at a slightly higher elevation.
This map shows the forecast temperature at 5,000 feet on Monday, in Celsius. That's a cold storm for October with readings around freezing (0C)! Awesome!
In terms of snow, the deepest amounts should be along and east of the divide, favoring Cameron Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks, Eldora, and down to Echo. These areas could see 3-12+ inches.
The European Ensemble model, which shows forecasts from 51 versions of the European model, is forecasting an average of 4 inches for Echo (green bar at the bottom). However, look at the 51 horizontal lines, each representing a version of the model. The forecasts range from 0 inches to 12+ inches with little consistency among the versions.
It would be unlikely for a storm bringing this much COLD air to not bring a healthy shot of snow to the eastern mountains at the front-end of the storm, so I would favor the high side of the forecast for now.
Mountains west of the divide should see cold air and a few inches of snow on Monday, but this storm is unlikely to favor areas west of the divide.
Following the storm, cool air should hang around through mid next week.
Lots of action this early season ... thanks for coming along for the ride!
Colorado Forecast Page → https://opensnow.com/state/co
There is a beautiful backcountry lodge between Monarch and Crested Butte called Tomichi Lodge. They are holding a fundraiser to help with repairs. Learn more and donate here:
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, Echo, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains
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