Snow will fall for most of the day Monday with 10-15+ inches in the eastern foothills, 3-7 inches in the central and northern mountains, and perhaps a coating to 2 inches in the southern mountains. The Denver metro area will also see snow, though roads in the metro area should be wet during the daytime hours. After this storm, the rest of the week will be dry, and the next chance for cooler weather and a bit of snow will occur next weekend. However, I do not see any significant storms through at least October 15-20, ish.
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Short Term Forecast
Good snowy Monday morning!
Unlike some storms that hit Colorado and produce snow for multiple days, storm number eight on the season will be a compact system, in terms of time. Snow began during the late evening on on Sunday and will end by late afternoon on Monday.
During most of the storm, the wind will blow from the east. This means that the most snow will fall in the foothills east of the divide, generally in the higher terrain west of the Denver metro area and east of the divide. Areas near and west of the divide will see some snow, but the wind from the east is NOT favorable for big accumulations.
Eastern foothills: 10-15+ inches
Northern & central mountains: 3-7 inches
Southern mountains: 0-2 inches
No weather model's forecast is perfect, though I think the NAM 3km forecast here does a nice job showing that the deepest totals will be east of the divide. This map is based on a 10-inch-of-snow to 1-inch-of-liquid ratio, and because the ratio might be a bit higher, amounts could be a bit higher than shown.
As the storm moves over Colorado on Monday, a few areas west of the divide could see heavier bursts of snow, especially around morning and midday. This might pop totals higher by a few inches, but I have very high confidence that the deepest amounts, by far, will be in the foothills east of the divide.
One notable aspect of this storm is the cold air. Temperatures will be cold enough for snow to fall down to the lower elevations in the Denver metro area. Road surfaces could be snowy before the sun rises on Monday morning, but as the sun comes up, even though it will be covered by clouds, its energy should be enough to make most roads wet in the Denver metro area. However, just a bit higher in the foothills west of Denver, road surfaces could stay snowy through the first half of Monday until the heavier snow lets up.
The rest of this week will trend warmer and will be dry. We could see a weak-ish storm next weekend, October 14-15, though I do NOT think it'll bring nearly as much snow as the current storm.
After that, I do NOT see any major systems through at least October 20th. The northern Rockies and British Columbia WILL be snowy and stormy between now and the third week of October, but it doesn't look like these northern storms will move far enough south to directly impact Colorado. Of course, forecast accuracy beyond about 7-10 days is rather poor, so this could all change. Stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!
Colorado Forecast Page → https://opensnow.com/state/co
I'll be giving a talk in Golden on Thursday, October 12th at 630pm at Powder7 ski shop. See you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/122739898436419/
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get snow tires. Yes, they are expensive, And yes, they are MUCH better than a standard all- season tire. If you love to chase powder, you owe it to yourself, your friends, and your family to put snow tires on your car. I don't get paid to say this or to sell any specific tire ... I just believe in it so much because I came to Colorado in 2003 thinking that snow tires were a gimmick and quickly found out that I was completely wrong. If you're in Boulder (where I live), I recommend Discount Tire. I now know Paul the manager, but for 10+ years I went there without any special deal or knowing anyone, just because they were always professional and I trusted their work.
Early Season Snow
These October storms are fun to talk about and experience, but they don't tell us anything about the amount of snow that will fall in the coming season. Sorry.
I wrote an FAQ about this here: http://opensnow.com/news/post/does-cloud-seeding-produce-more-snowfall
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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