The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado

Sunny and warmer, then snow returns in about one week

Summary:

  • Sunny and dry from Thursday through next Wednesday
  • Temperatures warm during this period, peaking next week
  • Next chance of snow from Thu, March 12 - Sun, March 15
  • Unsure of the details of this next storm (or storms)

 

Details:

I heard there were some fantastic turns to be had on Wednesday morning with lots of low water content (fluffy) snow! Please post more pictures in the comments or via the LiveSnow feature on our Android and iPhone apps. Thanks! Also, with the multiple feet of new snow over the last two weeks, the avalanche danger (outside of resort boundaries) is Considerable. Please check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports before heading into the "sidecountry" or into the backcountry: http://avalanche.state.co.us/

As of Thursday morning, all of the weather action has shifted toward the eastern part of the country where snow and mixed precipitation is falling along the spine of the Appalachian mountains.

colorado snow
Source: Weathertap.com

 

As we dig out from nearly two weeks of continuous snowfall here in Colorado, let's take a look at how our snowpack has improved.

Statewide, are now at 89% of average for this date as we made up quite a bit of ground since the middle of February.

Does this mean that we'll get to an average snowpack by the end of the snow season? That's uncertain. On average, statewide, our snowpack peaks on April 9th, and the analysis below indicates that we'll need to measure 136% of average snowfall over the next 4-5 weeks to get to average. It could happen, but that's a tough ask. Another scenario is that we could stay cold and snowy into late April or even into early May, and this would give us time to continue to build the snowpack.

colorado snow

 

Looking at the snowpack across the entire western US, Colorado is doing pretty well, though western/northern Wyoming and central Montana have spent most of the season at or above average snowpack. For the unfortunate folks along the west coast, the snowpack is mighty low even though precipitation in the northwest during the winter has been near average (temperatures were too warm, so the precipitation fell as rain and not snow).

colorado snow
This map and the one above courtesy of the USDA/NRCS

 

The forecast for today, Thursday, through next Wednesday is that for mostly sunny and dry weather with warming temperatures each day. The only slight deviation from this trend may occur over the weekend when we could see more clouds and temperatures cool by a few degrees as a weak system slides by to the northeast. With the higher sun angle of March, as high temperatures warm into the 30s and low 40s by the middle of next week, look for the snow surface to melt during the day and freeze up at night, especially on south-facing slopes. This means that morning conditions could be firm/hard, and they will soften in the afternoon.

Our next chance of snow will arrive on Thursday, March 12th, and could last through the following weekend. There is zero agreement between the models about how these next storms will push into the western US, and this total lack of agreement is rather rare for a seven-day forecast. Usually there are some differences in the models when we're talking about seven days into the future, but total disagreement is usually reserved for the time frame beyond about 10-12 days. Stay tuned as we can hopefully figure out the forecast for mid March by late this weekend or early next week.

 

Thanks for reading and enjoy your Thursday!

 

JOEL GRATZ

 

Off topic, but I could use your help!

My girlfriend Lauren and I are now in the "Wedding Pending" phase of our relationship (ie. we got engaged!) and we're looking for interesting wedding venues around Colorado. If you've hosted or attended a wedding at a cool spot, can you drop me an email at joel@opensnow.com? Our number one goal is to make the logistics easy for our guests (the people make the party, so we don't want to discourage anyone from attending), and our number two goal is to find a location that might be a bit different than normal, like a beautiful ranch, residence, lodge, etc. Of course the goal of easy logistics is somewhat in opposition to the goal of a unique location, so I have no idea if we'll be able to pull this off, and that's why I'm asking for your help. This is all about brainstorming, so we greatly appreciate any and all of your suggestions!

A few pictures below of the "ask", and of course I popped the question on snow:-) This was during our trip to the Opus Hut in early February.

joel lauren wedding pending

Thanks allowing me to go off-topic:-)

 

Geography Key:

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, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

East of the Divide
Eldora, 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)