It’s Friday morning and the northern mountains are reporting 6-12 inches and the central mountains have totals of 4-7 inches. On Friday morning, expect more snow for the northern and central mountains, then somewhat of a break in the afternoon. After midnight on Friday night, the snow will ramp back up and we could see moderate to intense snow through Saturday. On Saturday night, a cold front will be the focus for intense snow in the northern and central mountains, and this could make Sunday the third powder morning for some areas. Then on Sunday, the southern mountains should get in on the action. After that, next week should be mostly dry with our next chance of a storm around Christmas.
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Short Term Forecast
Let’s get right to the snow totals.
Thursday & Thursday Night Recap
We were looking at the northern mountains as the focus of the first part of the storm from Thursday through Friday morning and that’s generally what happened.
A few inches fell during the day on Thursday, then intense snow came in waves on Thursday night into Friday. Here are the Friday morning 500am totals:
Arapahoe Basin: 10”
Winter Park: 9”
Beaver Creek: 7”
Crested Butte: 7”
Aspen Highlands: 4”
The cams showed the dumpage in the northern mountains. I love seeing this scene – intense snow overnight!
The snow stake camera at Arapahoe Basin:
The snow stake camera at Breckenridge:
The snow totals on Friday morning are mostly in line with my thinking of 5-10 inches in the northern mountains. I was surprised to see Crested Butte notch 7 inches while Aspen, in between Crested Butte and the northern mountains, saw 3-4 inches (which was in my 3-6 inch range but lower than Crested Butte to the south).
We should see a few hours of intense snow in the morning, mostly in the northern and central mountains. Then we’ll see snow taper off to showers during the afternoon and evening.
Snow will ramp up starting around midnight for the northern, central, and some central mountains. Look for 2-6+ inches of fresh by Saturday morning's first chair.
Moderate or intense snow should fall on the northern and central mountains through the day with 4-8+ inches. Do not be disappointed if the Saturday-morning snow report only shows a few inches from Friday night. There will be more snow falling during the day on Saturday and conditions should improve through the afternoon. A few models show a narrow and intense band of snow over Steamboat, Winter Park, and Eldora during the day, so these areas might go out of the high side of the forecast range.
There is a new development that all forecast models agree about. A cold front will be the focus of intense snow. This front will move from north-to-south, first hitting Steamboat around the time of last chair on Saturday afternoon, then it will hit the other northern and central mountains on Saturday evening and Saturday night. This means that another 4-8+ inches could fall after lifts close on Saturday afternoon which would make Sunday morning a powder day. The snow quality on Saturday night should be fluffy thanks to the colder temperatures.
The morning could be deep with fluffy snow for the northern and central mountains, and the southern mountains should also see morning powder with more snow falling during the day.
Snow should wind down Sunday night into Monday but conditions will remain soft and super fun.
It still looks like most or all of next week will be dry.
Then models continue to show a better chance for storms starting around December 24-26.
Thanks for reading!
My next update will be on Saturday morning.
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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, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass
East of the Divide
Eldora, Echo, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains
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