Sunday was warm and dry, then a weak storm moved across Colorado on Sunday night and dropped one quick inch of snow over the northern mountains.
Now on Monday morning, the sun is out at most mountains, but that’s not a sight that we are going to see much more of during the next 10 days.
All weather models show that a stormy pattern will setup over Colorado and will likely bring snow during each of the next 10 days. If this were mid-winter, everyone would enjoy multiple powder days during the next week and a half. Since this is late April, we’ll need to be more selective based on which mountains are open and which backcountry areas are accessible at an elevation needed to find cold snow. If you’re heading into the backcountry, please remember to check the avalanche forecast from CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center), and also remember to not let your guard down even though it’s late season and avalanches aren’t often the first thing on our mind.
Ok, on to the forecast.
Here is a snapshot of our forecast for Abasin. This shows show every day for 6 days, and I think we’ll begin to forecast more snow early next week as most of the latest models show a cold pattern continuing through early May.
The first batch of snow will hit from Monday evening through Tuesday evening. The NCAR Ensemble model shows about 5-9 inches for the northern mountains, so I think we’ll have powder on Tuesday with leftovers on Wednesday morning.
We will likely see a lull in the snow from late Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.
Then the second batch of snow should bring powder on Thursday or Friday. I don’t have as much confidence in the forecast for this wave. Stay tuned.
A third and powerful storm will hit somewhere in Colorado from later Friday through Sunday. Some models show that this storm will bring a LOT of snow to areas near and east of the divide. Some models show that this storm will jet off to the east and not bring as much snow to the mountains. There is NO way to know which of these outcomes is more likely. Keep your eye on Saturday and Sunday for potential deep pow somewhere near and east of the divide, but don’t get too excited just yet.
The University of Utah Ensemble forecast below is for Berthoud Pass and it shows a cumulative total of 20-30 inches between Monday, April 24 and Sunday, April 30th. I think this is a tad optimistic but very possible.
To recap, I think we’ll see the best powder on Tuesday, perhaps leftovers Wednesday, another wave Thursday into Friday, and then the potential for deepness on Saturday and Sunday, with more snow possible during the first few days of May.
Wowzers … that’s a fun forecast, eh?
Thanks for reading!
Ibex just posted an interview with me about skiing, my job, and how climate change does and does not affect my job. More here: http://blog.ibex.com/company/changing-climate-powder-chasing/
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