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The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado

Well…

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Summary

The storm threw around a lot of surprises, and now on Saturday morning, snow totals are ranging from about 4 inches for many areas, up to about 16 inches just west of Aspen. We’ll see some accumulating snow on Saturday, but not a whole lot more, and for areas in the northeastern mountains (most of the locations that are still spinning lifts), this is a bummer as snow totals are lower than even the low side of the forecast.

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Short Term Forecast

Below are the snow totals between Thursday night and Saturday morning.

Most mountains are closed, and I am writing this before the remaining open mountains officially report snow, so the numbers are based on snow stake cameras and SNOTEL sites.

Also, some of the snow melted and settled on Friday when the sun poked through the clouds, so the actual amount of new snow on the ground could be less than the totals I show below.

Snowmass – 16” (not open)
Sunlight – 11” (not open)
Aspen Highlands – 10” (not open)
Aspen Mountain – 10” (not open)
Wolf Creek – 6-8” (not open)
Arapahoe Basin – 6” (open into May)
Breckenridge – 6” (limited terrain, closes Sunday 4/22)
Crested Butte – 6” (not open)
Beaver Creek – 5” (not open)
Vail – 5” (not open)
Telluride/Silverton – 5-10” (not open)
Purgatory – 4-6” (open ONLY Saturday & Sunday, skiing is FREE for everyone)
Loveland – 4” (closes Sunday 5/6)
Mary Jane – 4” (closes Sunday 5/6)
Steamboat – 4” (not open)
Winter Park – 4” (closes Sunday 4/22)
Eldora – 2-4” (closes Sunday 4/22)

The range of totals (so far) is 4-16 inches, with the majority of mountains between 4-10 inches. This is lower than my average forecast of 8-16 inches, and it’s especially disappointing for the northeastern mountains (where most lifts are still spinning) as the upslope snow (wind from the east) never kicked into high gear, likely due to the sliver of dry air that wrapped around the storm, which I wrote about late on Friday night.

Now on Saturday morning, it appears that the steadiest precipitation is over the north side of the southern mountains (Telluride, Silverton) as well as over the eastern plains. The radar around Denver stopped working at about 745pm on Friday night, so we have been flying blind for most of the storm, though, based on intermittent radar images from Denver, nearby radars, satellite, and webcams, it looks like there is not much snow falling over the northern mountains.

The Saturday morning satellite, showing the storm swirling over eastern Colorado.

The Saturday morning radar, showing the most snow over the southwest mountains and the eastern plains.

And the latest forecast model for Saturday, showing snow dissipating over the southwest mountains and another wave of snow hitting the northeastern mountains, likely dropping another 1-3 inches.

To wrap up, yes, there is some powder on Saturday morning, but amounts are lower than expected for most areas that are still open.

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Extended Forecast

I do not see any more cold, strong storms in our future. This is Colorado, though, so the higher mountains will get additional snow into May, I just don’t see any storms that have the potential of bringing a lot of snow to many mountains.

I’ll write another post on Sunday to fully wrap up the current storm, and then Monday will likely be my final post of the season when I’ll show what the longer-range models say about the end of April through May.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

JOEL GRATZ

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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

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