Colorado Daily Snow

Snowy Sunday

Summary

Snow began in the northern and central mountains around Sunday morning at 1 am and most mountains received 2-6 inches by sunrise on Sunday. Expect showers and light additional accumulations on Sunday, a little break on Sunday night, and then another 3-6 inches in the northern mountains on Monday morning. After that, an eastern storm will deliver a few inches of additional snow on Thursday, then the last week of October could wind up being pretty exciting, which is a reversal of the outlook from a few days ago.

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Short Term Forecast

It’s snowing and there’s good news in the forecast. Let’s get to it!

Sunday and Monday

The storm arrived about as expected with the northern and central mountains reporting 2-6 inches of snow falling during four hours between Sunday 1 am to 5 am. Data below is from snow stake cams or on-mountain measurements unless otherwise noted.

Breckenridge: 6”
Steamboat: 5-6” (estimate based on SNOTEL)
Eldora: 5-6”
Vail: 5”
Snowmass: 4-5”
Aspen Highlands: 4”
Arapahoe Basin: 4”
Keystone: 4”
Loveland: 4”
Winter Park: 4”
Beaver Creek: 3”
Buttermilk: 3”
Aspen Mountain: 2”
Telluride: 2”

Here are a few of the deeper snow stakes. Remember, we should be measuring at the lowest point on the stake, not the highest point where the snow has stuck to the ruler.

Sunday early morning is when the most intense snow was forecasted to fall. That phase of the storm is about over.

During the rest of Sunday-day, expect a few more inches from showery (on-and-off) snow squalls over the northern and central mountains. The forecast graphics below are from the CAIC WRF 2km model.

Sunday night will be a relative break. The northern mountains should see snow showers continue, though accumulations will be light.

Then on Monday morning, another wave of energy should bring 3-6 inches of additional snow to the northern mountains. If this were mid-winter, I would be saying that Monday morning would be a sneaky powder day with soft conditions leftover from Sunday’s snow and a nice pop of snow that would mostly fall after the Monday morning 5 am reports.

From Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon, clouds and snow showers should linger over the higher northern mountains closest to the continental divide, through snow accumulations should be light to nothing.

Next Storm Wednesday Night & Thursday

A few days ago it appeared that the next storm would stay to our east. Then all forecast models pushed the system farther to the west, which is good news for us.

Now the forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday is for a fast-moving storm that will move from north-to-south across eastern Colorado.

All mountains will see cooler temperatures (which will help with snowmaking) and mountains near and east of the divide (example: Eldora) should see the most snow with 3-6 inches. Other mountains may receive just a few inches. Of note, the cities of the Denver metro area should see their second accumulating snowfall of the season.

Extended Forecast

Friday and Saturday will be dry and we’ll see a warming trend during these two days.

Then, we might have some fun to talk about between Sunday and Wednesday (October 27-30).

Much like the Thursday storm was forecast to miss us to the east and then the models brought it back west, the latest models show that the Sunday system will move farther west and should impact Colorado.

The (on average most accurate) European model was the first to suggest this change in the forecast, and 24 hours later, both the American GFS and Canadian GDPS models show the storm around Colorado, so confidence is high that the Rockies will NOT end October with dry weather.

That said, while it looks like this could be an impactful storm for the Rockies, it’s too soon to know the details. The storm could move slowly and bring multiple days of snow to Colorado. Or it could dive a little far to the south and west to make that happen. Or it could stay farther west for days and not hit us until closer to October 30th. We’ll see. For now, just keep an eye on October 27-30. There might be powder to enjoy.

Thanks so much for reading! I’ll write a new post on Monday morning.

JOEL GRATZ

Announcements

Upcoming talks

These talks usually range from 30-45 minutes and allow me to show a little of the science behind snow forecasting, have some fun, and answer lots of questions. I’ll post details about each talk soon.

Boulder: Oct 24 @ Neptune Mountaineering

* Last year was SUPER fun. Let’s do it again!
* 6-7pm happy hour, 7-8pm talk & raffle, 8pm movie
* More details & buy tickets for $10
* Proceeds from the door prize tickets and beer sales go to CAIC

Details coming soon

* Golden: Oct 30 @ Powder7
* Frisco: Nov 8 @ Highside Brewery
* Nederland: Nov 12 @ Salto Coffee / Tin Shed Sports
* Denver: Nov 14 @ Denver Athletic Club
* Evergreen: Nov 21 @ Boone Mountain Sports
* Breckenridge: Dec 6 @ Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge
* Basalt: Dec 12 @ Bristlecone Mountain Sports

Geography Key

Northern Mountains
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

Central Mountains
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn

Southern Mountains
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains

Along the Divide
Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

East of the Divide
Eldora, Echo, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass

Central Mountains
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn

Southern Mountains
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains

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