I do not see any reason to make big changes to the forecast for the upcoming storm.
Thursday will offer partly to mostly cloudy skies and warm temperatures, likely reaching into the 40s. We might see a few showers during the day, but I think most of the time will be dry.
The next storm will then bring precipitation from Thursday evening through Friday night. The first half of the storm, on Thursday night and Friday morning, will be very warm. Rain will be possible near the base, though during times of more intense precipitation, snowflakes may fall down to the base, and due to Winter Park's high elevation, a majority of the mountain will see snow. Then slightly cooler air will arrive on Friday afternoon with additional cooling on Friday night, and snow should continue during this time.
My snow forecast is 4-8 inches from Thursday evening through Friday night. The positive factor about this storm is the high amount of moisture, which can lead to deep snow totals. The negative factors about this storm will be the warm temperatures and wind from the southwest, west-southwest, and west, none of which are ideal for big snow totals at Winter Park.
That said, I have been surprised by higher snow totals during past storms that were also warm and had a lot of moisture, and Winter Park's location close to the high elevations of the continental divide likely helped it to bring in the additional snow. As always, watch the mid-mountain snow stake to see if we'll get lucky with bigger snow totals!
If you are skiing on Friday, expect a stormy day with some thicker, denser powder during the late morning and midday, then on Saturday morning, there should be clearer skies and perhaps a few inches fresh powder that fell on Friday evening.
After this storm, the weekend will likely be dry, then a slow-moving storm should hang near or south of Colorado during most of next week. This storm track could create a wind from the east, and that might drop significant snow at Winter Park early next week.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an update each morning!
JOEL GRATZ, Meteorologist at OpenSnow.com
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