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The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado

Snow likely during most of the next 10 days

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Summary

A few mountains are reporting fresh snow on Saturday morning, and light snow will continue for the northern mountains through Saturday night. The next series of storms will bring snow from Sunday night through Wednesday, then another series of storms should keep the flakes falling from Saturday, Dec 10 through at least Monday, Dec 12.

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Short Term Forecast

On Friday morning we talked about how the storm well to the south of Colorado could bring an inch or two of snow to most mountains, with higher amounts possible at mountains favored by a wind from the east, like Eldora, Monarch, and Wolfcreek.

I am happy to report that the mountains favored by the east wind did pick up higher amounts of snow between Friday morning and Saturday morning:

Eldora - 6”

Wolf Creek - 6”

Monarch - 3”

Also, I was surprised to see Beaver Creek report 4 inches and a few other mountains in the 2-3 inch range. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of snow, but this storm took a very unfavorable track to bring snow to Colorado, so the fact that we got any snow is a nice bonus.

Before getting to the forecast, I want to mention a new feature we just started showing on the website. It is “Base Depth vs Average” and presents three graphical ways to look at the data, as well as the percent of Base Depth vs Average today, seven days ago and 14 days ago.

The percent of average from 14 days ago is available to everyone, and All-Access users ($19/yr, https://opensnow.com/user/register) get to see all of the graphs, the current data, and data from 7-days ago.

All of this is based on SNOTEL data, which are backcountry weather stations located in the western US and Canada. Most ski areas do NOT have a SNOTEL station on their mountain, so we interpolate between the stations to estimate the base depth vs average at nearly every resort, heli, and cat ski location in our database. This should be very helpful data if you’re planning a trip, especially during the early season, and want to see which areas have the deepest base compared to average.

Because this data is from automated weather stations, there can be errors in the data, so if you see something odd, let us know ([email protected]).

These charts are available on each mountain's page (scroll about half way down the page to see this section).

The forecast for Saturday and Saturday is for dry weather for most of the state, with lingering clouds and snow showers for mountains near and especially north of I-70.

Saturday:

Saturday night:

Sunday should be a dry day for the entire state with plenty of sun and temperatures in the upper 20s to mid-30s.

Our next storm will bring snow from late Sunday night through Wednesday. This storm will really be a series of waves of snowfall, and each wave will focus on a different part of Colorado.

The best chance for significant snow from Sunday through Monday night will be in the northern mountains.

Then on Tuesday and Tuesday night, all mountains will have a chance for significant snow.

Total accumulations between Sunday night and Wednesday morning should be in the 5-10 inch range for most areas, with the northern mountains maybe getting 8-16 inches as some models hint that a few narrow bands of heavy snow could linger over the mountains near and north of I-70.

The University of Utah’s method of adjusting a range of model forecasts to account for mountain effects shows nearly 20 inches of snow for Buffalo Pass, north of Steamboat.

The same forecast system shows about 10 inches for most of the rest of Colorado.

The best days to ski powder will be Monday in northern Colorado, Tuesday for most of the state, and Wednesday first chair for most of the state.

Following this storm, Thursday and Friday should be dry for most mountains with a few snow showers lingering near and north of I-70. Also, the temperature will be very cold on Wednesday and Thursday, so dress in your warmest gear!

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Extended Forecast

Additional storms will likely bring snow to most of Colorado, or at least the northern half of Colorado, from Saturday, Dec 10 through Monday, Dec 12. In fact, the snow could extend beyond the 12th as a series of storms may continue in a fast flow from the west-northwest.

Overall, this is good news as the snow will continue through at least mid-December and our base will get deeper and deeper with more terrain openings each day.

Have a great Saturday and thanks for reading!

JOEL GRATZ

Announcements

1) I am giving a talk at the Topo Designs store at 9th and Pearl St in Boulder on Tuesday, December 6th. Come for beers and snacks at 6pm and I’ll give a 30-minute talk starting around 630pm.

2) Contest – Prepare for the upcoming season with the Gear Up For Winter Sweepstakes presented by Liftopia! Prizes include new DPS skis, limited edition SPY goggles, Yakima cargo box, and $1,500 worth of gift cards from Liftopia, EVO, and The Feed. Enter to Win: http://opsw.co/2gdRiuy

3) We are writing Daily Snow posts specific to Steamboat (http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/steamboat), Copper (http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/copper), Vail (http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/vail), and Breckenridge (http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/breckenridge).

 

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, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

East of the Divide
Eldora, 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

Did you know that you can get more from OpenSnow?

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