On Wednesday, the northern mountains were covered in clouds and saw off-and-on snow showers that resulted in an inch at the highest elevations. Thursday will be sunnier, then the northern mountains will see more clouds and a few snow showers on Friday. After that, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday should be dry, then we'll get our next storm on Tuesday with a potentially stronger system sometime between December 2-4.
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Short Term Forecast
Even though a large area of high pressure is keeping most of the moisture and snowfall well north of Colorado, the trajectory of the moisture was still close enough to push clouds and snow showers over the northern mountains on Wednesday.
Here is the satellite image on Wednesday, showing the low clouds over the northern mountains.
I was surprised that these clouds brought accumulating snow, which was confined to the highest elevations of Summit County and north along the divide.
You can see the clouds hugging the divide (looking west).
Here are the snow reports on Thursday morning, with most of this snow falling for 1-3 hours on Wednesday late afternoon.
Arapahoe Basin - 1"
Breckenridge - 1"
Copper - 1"
Keystone - 1"
Loveland - 2"
Temperatures were warm on Wednesday with highs in the mid-30s in northern Colorado (which is warm considering the cloud cover and light snowfall). The central mountains made it into the low-to-mid 40s and high temperatures in the southern mountains rose to near 50F.
Thursday should be a few degrees warmer than Wednesday with plenty of sunshine.
Friday will be a bit cooler with additional clouds and light snow showers over the northern mountains as another bit of moisture slides across the northern part of Colorado.
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday should be dry and warm with a decent amount of sunshine.
While temperatures will be rather warm during the next four days, nighttime lows should be just cool enough for some snowmaking. Don't expect a ton of new terrain due to this limited snowmaking, but at least the snow guns will be able to run for some time.
This will be the weather pattern over the weekend. Red shows warmer and drier weather which is centered near Colorado.
Then on Tuesday, November 28th, we should see a weak-to-moderate storm hit Colorado.
While Tuesday's storm will likely not be a big snow producer, it should deliver at least a few inches and cooler weather. It will also signal what appears to be a slight change in the weather pattern, which should open the door for more storms to move into Colorado during early December.
Speaking of early December, the European ensemble model, which is the average of 51 versions of the European model, shows cool and stormy weather moving into the western US starting on or around Saturday, December 2nd.
Here in Colorado, this could mean a chance for a decent storm sometime between December 2-4. I don't know if this storm will hit all of our state, just a part of Colorado, or if it will hit some area of the western US more forcefully than Colorado. But the details don't matter because this is a 9-11 day forecast, and at that lead time, we're only looking for a trend toward stormy weather as it's too soon to focus on the details.
In the meantime, don't forget that the Friends of CAIC are hosting the 10th Annual CAIC Benefit Bash in Breckenridge next Saturday, December 2nd. This is a fundraiser to support the Colorado Avalanche Information Center in their mission of avalanche forecasting and education in Colorado. It’s the party of the season (seriously, it's awesome)! Maybe if you buy tickets, the snow will come:-) More details here: https://adecadedeep.eventbrite.com
Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving!
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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, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass
East of the Divide
Eldora, Echo, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass
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