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The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado

Northern mountain dumpage

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Summary

Northwest flow delivered in a big way on Friday and Friday evening with snow totals in the double digits for many mountains. If you missed the snow on Friday, you should find stashes of pow and freshly opening terrain on Saturday morning. Looking ahead, we’ll see light snow on Monday and Wednesday, then a significant storm should hit on Friday night and Saturday, with an active pattern continuing through the end of January.

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Short Term Forecast

I am writing this post on Friday evening because I will be getting up very early on Saturday morning to ski the pow:-)

From late Thursday night through Friday evening, the northwest flow delivered. Most northern mountains, and a few central mountains (Irwin, Monarch), had a fantastic powder day on Friday, and there should be fun leftovers on Saturday morning as well since the snow continued to fall after lifts closed on Friday.

Totals were generally between 6-12 inches, and below are the deepest snow stake cams. Many other resorts will report similar or deeper totals compared to the mountains pictured below, and I am singling our these snow stakes because they show the most snow while other snow stake cams just weren’t as impressive because they were cleared during the storm.

Breckenridge received about 4 inches in about 30 minutes on Friday night. That was a strong cell!

Vail’s Blue Sky Basin received about 12 inches total on Friday, roughly 33% more than the mid-mountain snow stake.

Copper did very well with about 10 inches, including 4-5 inches that fell after lifts closed on Friday afternoon.

The map below shows the increase in snowpack from Thursday evening to Friday evening. Multiply these numbers by about 15 to estimate snowfall.

Notice in the map above that Northwest flow does favor the northern mountains, and also can bring snow further south to parts of the central mountains and also to the northwest southern mountains (Telluride, Silverton, in the lower-left of the image).

For a list of all snow reports in Colorado, on one page, go here:
http://opensnow.com/state/CO/reports

For a list of the 5-day historical snowfall across all mountains in Colorado, on one page, go here:
http://opensnow.com/state/CO/history

Also, All-Access subscribers can view time-lapse webcams, via our website or mobile app, and this helps to see when the snow actually fell – during the day or at night after lifts closed. Some resorts do report an “overnight” snow total, but not all, so that’s why I love the time-lapse cams. If you are an All-Access subscriber, thank you for your support! If not, here is more information in case you’re interested: https://opensnow.com/user/register

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday is for mostly dry weather. The very far northern mountains might continue to see light snow and clouds, though accumulations should be very light.

On Monday a weak storm will push in from the northeast and the eastern mountains might see 1-3 inches of snow with some of the northern mountains seeing flakes with light accumulations.

On Tuesday we should see dry weather.

On Wednesday, a weak storm will meander near Colorado. My forecast for the day is 0-2 inches for most mountains because I have no clue where the storm will go, and if it’ll even hit Colorado.

Then Thursday should be dry.

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Extended Forecast

The next significant storm will arrive later on Friday and should continue through Saturday, January 20th. I think that Saturday 1/20 could be a good pow day. As I said in my last post, it is unusual for me to talk about a potential powder day 7-8 days in advance, but all models are showing this storm with relatively the same timing and strength, so my confidence is pretty high.

After that storm, Sunday 1/21 could offer some leftover pow as well, then an active pattern will continue through the end of January with additional storms. It will not snow every day, but I fully expect a few more powder days between January 20th and 31st. Plus, the active pattern could continue into February. 

Enjoy the pow, and thanks for reading!

JOEL GRATZ

Announcements

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, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

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

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

Southern Mountains
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains

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