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Monday December 3rd 2012 8:26am

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I know you might be confused, so let me help: That white stuff falling from the sky is snow. SNOW! Wow. Ridiculous. Amazing! This was the scene on I-70 at Vail Pass around 6am. Yes, that's what snow looks like on a webcam at night. What a beautiful sight!

Vail Pass

As of about 7am, a few inches had fallen, mostly around the Steamboat area and south to I-70. Between 7am and 9am the band of snow was pushing south through Aspen and down toward US50...here's what it looks like:

Snow band on Radar near Aspen

Total amounts will be up to 3-4 inches with most areas seeing about 1-2 inches. The steady snow should be over by mid morning, but a few off-and-on snow showers could hang out for most of the day. Check out the latest 24 hour reports on the Colorado Ski Report tab.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry, but another weak storm moves in on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, again favoring the northern half of the state with a few inches of snow. Like the Sunday night storm, the Wednesday night storm will be warm with very little cold air making it to Colorado, and because of this the atmosphere will not be efficient at converting moisture to snow. It's a weak storm, but at least it's something.

The biggest story of the day is that a significant storm is likely late this weekend into early next week and the pattern change I've been talking about for a few days does indeed look like it will happen.

A pretty significant storm - this time with cold air! - will hit Colorado sometime between Saturday night and Monday. I'm not exactly sure on the timing (the American GFS model is slower, the European model is faster), but that's not important right now (one of the greatest lines from the movie Airplane!). What matters is that we should see good snow late this weekend with cold temperatures, and this will be the first time for snow + cold temps for about a month. It's finally time to permit yourself to get somewhat excited, but wait for the full-on excitement for another day or two until I can nail down the details of the forecast.

Looking further ahead, the pattern change will happen after this weekend's storm, though don't expect it to snow every day. The main point is that the storm track will be more favorable for Colorado and we will have a better chance of seeing storms every few days. This is NOT a guarantee of a miraculously snowy December, but at least things are trending in a snowier and colder direction. The models are hinting that the second week of December has a storm or two and then the middle of the month could get consistently cold and snowy. I can't predict the details, but I can at least say that the upcoming pattern is much more favorable for snow than what we've seen over the last three weeks. Here is the graphic I posted yesterday:

Storm track change

Work hard this week at school or at work as I have a feeling there will be opportunities to skip out of work or school coming up in the next few weeks to chase powder...

JOEL GRATZ

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