The third storm of the season clipped northern Colorado on Tuesday night, delivering a few inches of snow to Steamboat and the Park Range. In the wake of that storm, Wednesday and Thursday will be sunny, and then a slow-moving system will bring showers and clouds from Friday through next Tuesday. Expect at least a few inches of snow near and above 10,000, especially from Saturday evening through Tuesday. Then temperatures will slowly warm as we head toward the end of September and early October.
Short Term Forecast
The third storm of the season clipped extreme northern Colorado on Tuesday night. Based on webcams, snow accumulated above about 9,000 feet.
Steamboat's summit snow stake is live for the season!
Here is the view from the top of Steamboat's gondola, looking west toward the base area, which is covered in low clouds. What a sight!
Also in northern Colorado, Cameron Pass received a dusting of snow.
I am tracking each snow storm this season, and we're already up to four. Let's hope the active trend continues through the winter!
Following sunny and gorgeous (albeit windy) weather on Wednesday and Thursday, the fourth storm will bring showers starting late on Thursday night into Friday, and the showers will continue through next Tuesday.
Quick math shows that this storm will influence our weather for five days.That is a long time indeed for one storm.
The map below shows the forecast for the storm from Thursday, Sep 21 to Thursday, Sep 28. This storm is in no hurry and will hang out near and over Colorado, pushing waves of showers across the state.
Because this storm will be wobbling near us for so long, I don't have much confidence in the exact snow forecast beyond a few days.
This is what the forecast looks like through Sunday. The most snow (12+ inches) will fall in Wyoming and the northern Rockies. Here in Colorado, a few inches above treeline is a good bet.
Temperatures will drop starting around Saturday night and Sunday, so I think the best chance for the most snow in Colorado will be from Saturday night through next Tuesday.
In fact, the European ensemble model (an average of 51 versions of the European model) shows roughly five inches for Berthoud Pass, mostly late this weekend and early next week.
And the University of Utah ensemble model, which combines multiple versions of the American and Canadian models, shows similar numbers for Berthoud Pass, with a range of 4-10 inches.
Bottom line – expect showers each day from Friday through next Tuesday. Snow will be confined to above 11,000 feet-ish on Friday and Saturday, and then the snow level could drop to 9,000 feet-ish from Saturday night through Tuesday.
Colorado will show all of her beauty this weekend and next week with snow-capped mountains poking through the clouds and golden Aspen leaves on the lower slopes. Enjoy!
Looking ahead, next week's temperatures (Mon, Sep 25 - Fri, Sep 29) will remain below average.
But then, as we discussed in the last post, warmer weather will head toward us from the west.
It's more likely than not that the last few days of September and early October will bring near or above average temperatures and little or no snow.
That's ok ... I'll take a few more weeks of biking and hiking weather before winter returns.
Thanks for reading!
Parties in Denver & Boulder
Join me in Denver and Boulder in late September to have a bite, grab a drink, and talk about cat & heli-skiing. The goal for the night is to share a bunch of knowledge about how to pick a great cat or heli trip in Colorado, British Columbia, or Alaska. See more info and RSVP on our event pages:
Denver, Tue, Sep 26
Boulder, Thu, Sep 28
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I am attending an outdoor industry conference in Grand Junction and was hoping to find a kind OpenSnow reader to share their home with me for Wednesday night, Oct 4 and maybe Thursday night, Oct 5. I'll happily pay with an All-Access Pass, beverages, and of course as much chit-chat about the weather as you want:-) If you can help, please email me: [email protected]
Skiing pow was a passion well before OpenSnow was a business, so I have a deep connection to people that also want to turn their passion into a business that provides a useful product. In that vein, my best friend's uncle lives in Whitefish Montana and has spent years, as a boater, working to create an ergonomic grip for oars. The Kickstarter for Gilman Grips is now live - please check it out and support them if this interests you!
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