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Daily Snow from Colorado   RSS

Sunday April 20th 2014 8:28am MDT

Summary:

Another round of afternoon rain and snow showers on Sunday, then Monday will be dry. Look for strong winds Tuesday afternoon, then a few inches of snow Tuesday night and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday should be dry, then we might see an extended period of cooler weather and snow from Saturday through Sunday and Monday. Sunday the 27th through Tuesday morning the 29th might actually be powder days at Abasin and Loveland ... stay tuned.

Details:

Yesterday was dry through early afternoon, then the storms popped up between about 2pm and 8pm with rain and snow showers over many mountain areas. Accumulations were light for most locations with just an inch or two falling over 10,000 feet. The exception was in Summit County where a strong cell brought a quick 4-6 inches of snow to Keystone, Breckenridge, Abasin, and Loveland between about 6-8pm, mainly above 10,500 feet. 

Today, Sunday, will be similar to Saturday but with fewer showers. The first half of the day will be dry and partly to mostly sunny, then clouds and showers will develop by the afternoon. Most models are showing that the heaviest showers will wait to fall until after 6pm, but the models do not handle convection very well (pop-up storms due to afternoon heating), so I don't have a lot of confidence in that timing...the showers could pop up earlier than 6pm. Like Saturday, the highest elevations might see a few inches from the heaviest showers.

Then Monday and Tuesday will be dry, with winds increasing on Tuesday afternoon. These winds will likely bring dust from the southwest on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

A cold front will move across Colorado on Tuesday night, and this should trigger a few showers Tuesday night through Wednesday, with 1-3 or 2-4 inches of snow across the northern 2/3rds of Colorado by midday Wednesday. Temperatures will be cooler than this weekend, so the snow level should drop to about 8,000 feet.

Then Thursday and Friday will be dry.

Long Range:

Next weekend looks very interesting. Most models are showing a single storm or multiple waves of energy hitting Colorado between Saturday the 26th and Monday the 28th. This storm (or series of storms) will bring in colder air, and we have a legitimate shot of late April powder days on Sunday, Monday, and perhaps Tuesday morning.

colorado snow

Long-range forecast from the American GFS model for next Sunday, showing that a storm is likely over Colorado. Source: Weatherbell.com

With temperatures well below freezing and multiple days of snow, I like our chances of a powder day in about a week. I believe that the only resorts open next Monday and Tuesday will be Abasin and Loveland, which would work out just fine as their higher elevation is what we need for good late-season powder. One of my best powder days last year was on May 1st at Loveland ... these late-season dumps can be fantastic!

JOEL GRATZ

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I wrote two articles you might find interesting:

Where will the snow fall next season: http://opsw.co/RuMpRL

Two pieces of gear that changed my skiing: http://opsw.co/1lfY8fz

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Saturday April 19th 2014 8:34am MDT

Summary:

Showers on Saturday with warm temperatures, and similar Sunday but with fewer showers. Monday will be dry, Tuesday will be windy and dry, then we'll see more snow on Wednesday, perhaps 2-4 inches. A more powerful storm is possible around Sunday/Monday, April 27-28th.

Details:

A weak storm is pushing a lot of moisture into Colorado today, but there won't be much of a spark to turn this moisture into rain and snow. The best chance for precipitation will be in the San Juans and along and east of the divide, but some showers should pop up over all mountains by Saturday afternoon. Temperatures will be warm, so snow will be limited to over 10,000 feet.

The showers should decrease on Saturday night, then pop up again on Sunday, but Sunday should be the nicer day of the weekend.

After a dry and calm day on Monday, strong winds will develop on Tuesday afternoon ahead of our next storm. These winds should blow dust into Colorado from the southwest.

colorado snow

Tuesday's wind forecast at 10,000 feet shows 40-50kt winds are likely, and gusts of about this strength should hit the lower valleys as well. Source: Twisterdata.com

On Wednesday, the storm will move through with a cold front knocking temperatures down and producing light to moderate snow (2-4 inches). Then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shoud return to dry and sunny weather.

Long Range:

A large storm will hit the west coast next weekend with heavy snow likely for Tahoe, and this should move toward Colorado by Sunday/Monday, April 27-28th. Keep this in the back of your mind as you'll likely be in full-on spring mode with many warm days ahead of this storm.

JOEL GRATZ

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The spring skiing season in the big mountains is here. Check out this trip report by the Centennial Skiers from Holy Cross Ridge: http://opsw.co/1jimGC2

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Friday April 18th 2014 7:55am MDT

Summary:

Dry Friday, then numerous showers on Saturday with fewer on Sunday. These showers will generally be snow above 10,000ft and rain below 10,000ft (snow could fall at lower elevations in the heavier showers). Monday will be dry, Tuesday will be dry, warm, and windy, then Wednesday will cool off with a few inches of snow likely. The end of next week should return to dry and warm weather.

Details:

Today, Friday, will be dry with increasing clouds as moisture builds ahead of our next storm.

colorado snow

The gray, blue, and green colors show moisture moving into Colorado from the southwest. The center of our next storm is currently swirling off the coast of southern California, and it will move across Colorado during Saturday and Saturday evening. Source: WeatherTap.com

Showers will start in the San Juans on Friday night, then move across all of Colorado on Saturday. This storm will not produce continuous precipitation, but rather convective showers, more like typical summer precipitation. The mountains will have a better chance of seeing precipitation compared to the valleys, and this precipitation will fall as snow above 10,000 feet with rain drops more likely below this level (heavier bursts of precipitation will drive the snow level down to 9,500ft or even 9,000ft).

The showers will let up Saturday night, but then reform on Sunday afternoon. Overall for the weekend, Sunday will be the nicer day with fewer showers compared to Saturday.

Most of the moisture will leave Colorado on Sunday night, so Monday should be dry and sunny. Tuesday will stay dry and warm up with very strong winds from the southwest developing by the afternoon. These winds could unfortunately blow in dust from Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Long Range:

A cold front will move through next Wednesday the 23rd and this will cool our temperatures but won't bring us much precipitation with perhaps just a few inches of snow for the mountains. After that, the next chance for precipitation could arrive the following weekend, April 26-27.

JOEL GRATZ

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I wrote two articles for yesterday's final email newsletter of the year:

Where will the snow fall next season: http://opsw.co/RuMpRL

Two pieces of gear that changed my skiing: http://opsw.co/1lfY8fz

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Thursday April 17th 2014 8:08am MDT

Summary:

Dry Thursday and Friday, with high elevation snow showers on Saturday (mostly above 10,000 ft). A few showers will pop up again on Sunday, then dry Monday and Tuesday with a strong cold front and some snow arriving next Wednesday the 23rd.

Details:

Yesterday's snow was mostly confined to the mountains and plains south of I-70 and east of the divide where 3-6 inches fell in the afternoon and evening.

As I look ahead to the next 7-10 days, it looks like a spring pattern with warm temperatures  and only a few chances for snow.

The next storm will move from southwest to northeast over Colorado on Friday night and Saturday. It will drag in plenty of moisture, but with weak storm energy we'll likely only see a few inches of snow on Saturday. Temperatures will be very warm with snow levels around 10,000ft, lowering to 9,000ft in the stronger precipitation cells.

colorado snow

Temperatures on Saturday at 10,000ft are forecasted to be around or just above freezing, which means the best chance for snow flakes versus rain drops will be above 10,000ft, with a few of the heavier cells pushing snow down to 9,000ft. Source: Twisterdata.com

Sunday should be an improvement over Saturday as I still expect a few afternoon showers, but they will be more scattered and random compared to Saturday.

Monday and Tuesday will be dry, and the big weather story on Tuesday will be the very strong winds from the southwest that might blow additional dust into Colorado from Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

Then a strong cold front will move through on Wednesday with some snow, but it looks like the heaviest precipitation will stay to the north of Colorado.

Long Range:

The last seven days of April look like typical spring weather, with warming temperatures and one or two storms that could cool things off and bring a bit of snow for about 24 hours.

JOEL GRATZ

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CAIC is in fundraising mode right now to prepare for next season. Here are two ways to support them:

1) Vail Resorts will match up to $20,000 of your donations. More info & a link to donate: http://opsw.co/1t9S6CC

2) If you're in the Vail area, head to E-Town on Thursday night (4/17) for a fundraiser. More info here: http://opsw.co/Qd5nLL

Join the Conversation!
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Wednesday April 16th 2014 8:17am MDT

Summary:

Light snow this morning, then the heavy snow on Wednesday night will miss most ski areas and fall south of I-70 and on the east side of the divide. Thursday and Friday will be dry, then rain and snow showers will cover Colorado Friday night through Sunday night with the heaviest precipitation falling on Saturday afternoon with a few inches of snow over 10,000 feet. Monday and Tuesday will be dry, then a powerful storm will bring wind, cooler air, and some snow from next Tuesday afternoon through Thursday.

Details:

Today's storm is coming in two parts.

The first part moved through between 3-7am on Wednesday morning with a few inches along and north of I-70 (1-2 inches accumulated after the 5am reports).

We'll see a break today, then the next piece of the storm will move through central and southern Colorado Wednesday evening. You can see the second piece of the storm as the blue/green colors zooming over northern Nevada and Utah on the satellite image below.

colorado snow

Wednesday morning's infrared satellite image. Source: Weathertap.com

Wednesday night's energy will focus most of it's moisture and lift east of the divide and south of I-70, so the most snow will fall in the eastern foothills of the Sangre de Cristos, the Wet Mountains, and near Pikes Peak. The foothills north of this area (up to I-70 and north) could see more clouds and a few flakes tonight, but snowfall shouldn't be significant.

colorado

Precipitation forecast from the high resolution NAM model for Wednesday and Wednesday night. To estimate snowfall, multiply by about 10-12. Source: Weatherbell.com

Thursday and Friday will be dry, then a weak and warm storm with a lot of moisture will move into Colorado from the southwest on Friday night and will stick around through Sunday night. During this time, snow levels will be high, around 10,000 feet, and precipitation will fall in bursts rather than continuously. The first burst might move through Friday night, a second one will likely develop with afternoon heating on Saturday afternoon, and a weaker burst of snow/rain might bring additional showers on Sunday. If I had to pick a weekend day with better weather, it would likely be Sunday as the afternoon showers shouldn't be as heavy as they will be on Saturday. 

Long Range:

The dominant storm system next week will roll through on Wednesday into Thursday. Ahead of the storm, Monday will be dry and Tuesday will be very windy with dust likely blowing in from the southwest. A cold front will move through on Wednesday-ish, which will drop temperatures and likely bring some snow to the mountains.

JOEL GRATZ

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CAIC is in fundraising mode right now to prepare for next season. Here are two ways to support them:

1) Vail Resorts will match up to $20,000 of your donations. More info & a link to donate: http://opsw.co/1t9S6CC

2) If you're in the Vail area, head to E-Town on Thursday night (4/17) for a fundraiser. More info here: http://opsw.co/Qd5nLL

Join the Conversation!
Comments
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