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The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado
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Amazing April recap plus a more snow in early May

Summary

Another 3-6 inches of snow fell on Saturday and Saturday night, so great powder conditions continue now on Sunday. The heaviest snow on Sunday will fall in the southern part of the southern mountains and there should also be light accumulations near and especially east of the divide, near and north of I-70. On Monday and Tuesday we’ll see additional snow showers but accumulations should be light. Then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will likely be drier with much warmer weather. Our next storm will bring snow back to Colorado on Mother’s Day weekend with the best chance of powder on Mother’s Day (May 8th) and into early the next week.

 

Details

It’s now the first day of May, so let’s briefly take a look back at what happened during the month of April.

In April, it snowed, and snowed a lot. This map shows the total precipitation during the month of April compared to average. Nearly every part of Colorado measured above-average precipitation (the white numbers show percent of average).

Source: USDA

 

The snowpack on April 1st, as a percent of average, was near average for the northern half of Colorado and about 10% below average for the southern part of the state.

Source: USDA

 

Now on May 1st, the snowpack has increased (as a percent of average) for every river basin. Yes, we saw some warm weather and times of rapid melting during the month, but we also saw a lot of snow with the powder days continuing through the last day of the month.

Source: USDA

 

And back to present day…

There is powder to enjoy now on Sunday for most mountains as another 3-6 inches of snow fell between Saturday morning and Sunday morning.

Now on Sunday morning, the radar shows two areas of snow: One focused east of the divide, just west of the Denver metro area, and a second area of snow in the southern part of the southern mountains.

Source: WeatherTap.com

 

These two locations should continue to be favored for snow throughout the day on Sunday.

Then on Monday and Tuesday, we’ll be in a “tweener” situation where storms will be close enough to Colorado to help create snow showers, but these storms won’t be strong enough to produce consistent snow over a large area. So I kept a few snow showers in the forecast for both days but I think most mountains will see only light additional accumulations.

On Wednesday and Thursday, sunny and warm weather will return. Enjoy the sun and blue skies!

The weather for the end of next week and for Mother’s Day weekend will swing back to showery and perhaps stormy as the next in our series of storms from the southwest will slooooowly push toward Colorado.

Most of you regular readers likely have picked up on the fact that storms from the southwest often move more slowly than most models predict. This should again be the case for the upcoming Mother’s Day storm as initial model forecasts showed the heaviest snow on Friday night and Saturday, and now most models are trending toward Saturday night and Sunday, about 24 hours later. This trend may continue, so I reduced my snow forecast on Friday and Friday night and increased it from Saturday night through the following Monday. Right now it appears that Sunday, May 8th, Mother’s Day, could be a powder day.

Have a great Sunday, and by the pictures posted in the comment section, it appears that you’re all getting after this late season pow. Hooray for springtime in Colorado:-)

JOEL GRATZ

 

PS - I will be giving a talk during the evening of Wednesday, May 4th at the Silverthorne Pavilion in Summit County. This will be a part of the “State of the River” event and should be a great evening covering water and snow information. My talk specifically will revisit the season-long forecast for this past season and look ahead to next season, provide tips on forecasting snow around Summit County, and I’ll also discuss the history of the business side of OpenSnow. Finally, I’ll chat a bit about what we’re up to this summer with a mobile app focused on lightning prediction for hikers. Hope to see you there, and click here for more details: http://opsw.co/stateofriver

 

Geography Key

Northern Mountains
Steamboat, Granby, Beaver Creek, Vail, Ski Cooper, Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, 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

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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