On Monday, snow continued to fall, adding another 3-6 inches for many mountains. Tuesday will be drier, with more snow Wednesday and Thursday, then maybe drier on Friday. From Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, expect a cold storm with the most snow (6+ inches) near and east of the divide. Then next week will be drier and warmer.
Short Term Forecast
As expected, a few staff at Silverton Mountain (in southwestern Colorado) made turns on Monday. Silverton is usually the first mountain to show off skiing pictures each season, due to both their high elevation and high motivation. Nearby weather stations report 10-15 inches of snow on the ground, so making turns is possible!
And Purgatory, also in southwest Colorado, received a shellacking of snow as well, maybe 4-8 inches (exact numbers are hard because of melting between snow squalls and because resorts are not officially reporting).
To round out the tour of the southwest, the sun peeked out at Telluride on Monday, offering a winter-like scene.
Further north and west at Powderhorn, near Grand Junction, an employee sent me these photos.
To the east, at Arapahoe Basin, the Tuesday-morning summit webcam makes me wish that the calendar was ahead a few weeks. Their snow stake camera showed about 6 inches on Monday and Monday night, which was on top of about 3 inches the day before.
And 18 miles as the crow flies northeast of Arapahoe Basin is Winter Park, where the snow stake camera read 4 inches on Tuesday morning.
Finally, I wanted to show this base village camera from Vail because it nicely illustrates the transition from deeper snow on the mountain (about 6 inches on Monday evening at 10,000 feet) to just a dusting in the village (at 8,000 feet).
Along with all of us who are excited to see snow, my son Levi (who just turned one year old) got into the snowy vibe and requested to wear this shirt to school yesterday. Ok, maybe it was one of his parents who decided to put him in this shirt…
Now to the weather ahead.
Tuesday morning’s weather is chilly with temperatures in the low 20s at most ski areas. The national radar shows mostly dry weather over Colorado’s mountains.
Here’s what the weather looks like for the rest of the week.
Tuesday will be dry for most of the day with just a few showers here or there.
Wednesday will bring another round of snow. Look above at the radar animation and spot the snow and rain over the northwest United States. That will reach Colorado on Wednesday with a few more inches of high-elevation snow.
Thursday will bring yet another system with a band of snow stretching from southwest-to-northeast across the mountains. I don’t have any confidence about exactly where this band will set up, but whatever mountains get hit could receive another few inches of snow.
Friday and Saturday should be drier. Likely not completely dry as there is too much moisture and energy roaming around, but I do NOT see widespread snow.
Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon will then bring the coldest storm of this young season. Temperatures on Sunday could be in the teens in the mountains, and mountain locations near and east of the divide could get 6+ inches, with temperatures cold enough for accumulating snow on the eastern plains and around the Denver metro area.
The map below shows the snow forecast for Saturday night and Sunday from an average of 51 versions of the European model.
The most important thing on this map is to see the area where deeper snow is indicated, which is near and east of the divide (from about Keystone and Loveland/Arapahoe Basin and east). Favored areas would be Rocky Mountain National Park and Eldora. While amounts on the map show a maximum of 6 inches for these favored areas, we could see double digits if the storm comes in just the right way.
Following the storm on Saturday night and Sunday, we should see dry weather from Sunday evening through next week and perhaps through the following week as well. Temperatures will slowly warm during this time, though should be cold enough for many resorts to continue or start making snow.
Looking far ahead, the next good chance for a storm could be during the last few days of October into early November. A storm around Halloween is something that happens rather frequently here in Colorado!
Thanks for reading … next update on Wednesday, October 10.
PS - I updated info for a few of my upcoming talks. See below and hope to see you in person soon!
My upcoming presentations about the winter forecast and tips for chasing pow!
* October 18 in Colorado Springs at Ute & Yeti starting at 630pm. Beer & food available for purchase. Free to attend! RSVP here.
* October 25 in Golden at Powder7 ski shop starting at 630pm. Free to attend! RSVP page coming soon.
* November 1 in Boulder at Neptune Mountaineering starting at 600pm. Free to attend! There will be happy hour, my talk, the short film “Abandoned” about lost ski areas, and a raffle with REALLY good prizes. Details here.
* Early November in Summit County
* November 28 in Vail
* December 5 in Denver
We have an iPhone app that provides detailed weather forecasts for your hiking, biking, and climbing adventures. OpenSummit now includes forecasts for 1,000 of the highest and/or notable summits and hiking areas across the United States. Download OpenSummit (iPhone only)
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
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains
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