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Sunday October 19th 2014 7:08am

Summary:

Afternoon showers for southern Colorado on Sunday and Monday. A more potent storm will bring rain and snow over 10,000ft to most mountains from midday Tuesday through midday Wednesday. Then we're back to dry weather until the last few days of October.

Details:

Sunday and Monday will be similar to Saturday ... look for increasing afternoon clouds with showers. The best chance of a rain drop or snow flake will be in the southern 1/3rd of the state roughly south of Crested Butte, but a few showers could push further north to I-70.

From Tuesday midday through Wednesday afternoon a more organized storm will push through Colorado. We'll have plenty of moisture to work with, so this energy will create rain and snow showers for most mountains between midday Tuesday and Wednesday midday or afternoon. The most widespread showers will likely occur Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening, with northwest flow bringing continued showers to the mountains near and north of Aspen on Wednesday. Snow accumulations should stay above 10,000-11,000ft, though snowflakes could fall down to 9,000-10,000ft near and north of Aspen during the heaviest showers. 

Next Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will then be dry. 

In terms of snowmaking, temperatures will be marginal the next few days, conditions will improve on Wednesday into Thursday morning, then we'll return to marginal temperatures next weekend.

Most of the action during the end of next week and the last weekend of October will be in the Pacific Northwest, and the rest of the county will be on the drier side. 

colorado weather snow forecast report

Then as we've talked about, the last few days of the month could be more active. I do not see indications that we'll switch to very cold air or continuous snowfall, but at least we could see a bit more action near Halloween with temperatures more conducive to snowmaking.

colorado snow weather ski report forecast

Have a great Sunday!

JOEL GRATZ

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Saturday October 18th 2014 7:42am

Summary:

Afternoon showers on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Most mountains will see rain/snow on Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, then we return to dry weather through next weekend.

Details:

The picture below shows that quite a few people turned out for Abasin's opening day yesterday!

arapahoe basin

I also heard from a reader that was curious about the amount of snow that Abasin and Loveland would each have to make in order to open. This reader did some quick work on Google Earth and found that the number of acres of snow to cover the first trail was about twice as many acres at Loveland as compared to Abasin. So this might partially explain why Abasin was able to open more quickly.

Back to weather...

Today, Sunday, and Monday, look for a few afternoon showers south of I-70, with most of the showers confined to the San Jan and Sangre de Cristo mountains of southern Colorado.

Then a weak and warm storm will move across Colorado on Tuesday into Wednesday, so look for rain and snow over 10,000 feet from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. It won't rain during that entire time, but it will be mostly cloudy.

Next Thursday, Friday, and through next weekend will be dry as the storminess stays to our north and west over Washington and British Columbia.

Like a broken record, the models still indicate some storminess moving closer to Colorado during the last few days of October, so I'll keep an eye on it.

JOEL GRATZ

 

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Friday October 17th 2014 8:27am

Summary:

A few showers over the San Juans on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, then most of the state will see rain and high elevation snow on Tuesday night through Thursday morning. Then ... back to the sun.

Details:

The big story isn't the weather but that the WROD opens today at Arapahoe Basin. The WROD is affectionately known as the "white ribbon of death". It's pretty much what I grew up skiing back east, but in the west it gets a special acronym.

arapahoe basin

Our weather has been beautiful this week, albeit pretty boring. Sunny skies, mostly light winds, a few high clouds. This will generally continue through the weekend and into Monday. As additional moisture moves in, there will be a few afternoon showers over the southern third of Colorado on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The rest of the state should stay dry.

colorado weather forecast
Source: Weathertap.com

Next week, I think Tuesday starts dry, but then a splitting storm will slowly push through Colorado with rain showers (snow over 10,000ft) on Tuesday night, Wednesday, and Wednesday night. Precipitation likely won't be all that heavy, but most areas will see wetting rains / snows.

Then Thursday (10/23) should clear out and we'll be back to dry weather through about the 27th or 28th. There is a bit of model agreement pointing toward our next storm during the last few days of October. Overall, not a very active forecast. I'll keep you updated.

JOEL GRATZ

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Thursday October 16th 2014 5:22am

Summary:

Dry with high clouds on Thursday and Friday, and oh yeah, Abasin opens on Friday(!). A few showers for southern Colorado on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, then most of the state should see scattered showers of rain and snow next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Details:

On Wednesday morning I wrote that temperatures for snowmaking would not be very good for the next 5-7 days. Then, of course, on Wednesday afternoon I received a press release that Abasin intends to open on Friday. So much for my knowledge of snowmaking! I was surprised that Abasin could open after only having a few nights of cool weather conducive to making snow, but kudos to them!

Our upcoming weather on Thursday and Friday will be similar to Wednesday as the atmosphere will be dry with only high cirrus clouds moving across the state from time to time.

On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, additional moisture will be lifted into Colorado from the south, so look for scattered afternoon showers over the southern third to half of the state, mostly over the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, a piece of the storminess over the Pacific Ocean will break off and move into the western US. This energy may cut off from the main flow of weather and spin to our south, so the forecast is definitely not set in stone. That said, most of the weather models agree that the entire state will see rain showers (high-elevation snow) on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the most precipitation over the southern third of Colorado.

colorado snow forecast
Precipitation forecast from the Canadian weather model. Source: Weatherbell.com

Late next week and weekend (roughly October 23-26) should return to dry weather, and then the last few days of the month could be stormy once again as another wave of energy pushes east from the Pacific Ocean.

JOEL GRATZ

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Wednesday October 15th 2014 8:49am

Summary:

Keep the sunscreen handy because it'll be sunny and generally dry for about the next 7 days. We could see some rain/snow next Wednesday or Thursday, though that looks like a transient storm versus a significant pattern change.

Details:

Yesterday was a perfect day with not a cloud in the sky. On the visible satellite image below, the white color that you see is snow on the mountains.

colorado weather
Source: Weathertap.com

Wednesday, today, through early next week won't be cloudless as we will see times of high and mid-level clouds, but most of the state will be dry for the next week. The southern mountains (San Juans and Sangre de Cristos) may see scattered showers Saturday and Sunday, but the precipitation will be hit and miss.

A small piece of the storminess over the Pacific Ocean will move inland during the middle of next week and we'll have a higher chance for showers (rain & snow) next Wednesday or Thursday. After that, many models return us to drier weather for a few days before a possible change to a more active pattern late in the month. At that range, 15 days, there's virtually no skill in the details of the model projections, so I'm looking at trends and like to share what I'm seeing, but take it as a very low-skill forecast.

In terms of snowmaking, Loveland, Abasin, and Copper had two productive nights Sunday and Monday night, but temperatures failed to drop to freezing on Tuesday night and it'll be borderline for the next week or so. I'm not a snowmaking expert, but I wouldn't expect much progress on that front for at least a week.

Patience, I suppose. It's great biking weather!

JOEL GRATZ

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