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Colorado Daily Snow

February 21, 2013 7:29am MST

Summary: A few areas saw very heavy snow yesterday afternoon and last night, otherwise the forecast for a few inches was about right. Wrap-around snow will continue today, lighten tonight and Friday, then a strong cold front will bring snow on Saturday night and a powder day for most on Sunday.

Last night was interesting...it always is. A circulation (mini-storm) developed in the middle of Colorado, and this helped to 1) pull moisture into certain areas and 2) create favorable wind directions for some of these areas. Wolf Creek's 15" was a bit higher than I forecast but not that surprising - they always do well. Monarch's 15" was a bit surprising, but this circulation helped to pull moisture and wind from the east, which can work well at Monarch. The circulation also setup perfectly to bring a few heavy snow bands into Aspen which accounted for the 8-9 inches reported at Ajax and Snowmass. Good winds and moisture wrapping around the circulation set things up perfectly for 10 inches at Powderhorn and 11 inches at Telluride. Other areas saw about 2-4 inches, in line with the overnight forecast. While it's easy to explain after the fact, forecasting this mini-circulation and its exact affects on snowfall at certain areas is extremely difficult 12-24 hours ahead of time. That's the nature of our game of chasing powder!

Last night's snow

The mini-circulation and main storm is moving to the east today, but good wrap-around moisture will bring continued snow showers to most of the state. Many areas will again see 2-4 inches today, but some will see higher amounts including the areas that did well last night, like Monarch, Powderhorn, and Telluride.

Wrap-around moisture

Expect on-and-off snow showers to persist tonight, but become lighter and spottier by morning. Another weak system will keep snow in the air on Friday with another few inches and lots of clouds.

There will be a lull in the action Friday night into Saturday morning, then a strong cold front will hit most areas just after sunset on Saturday night and should bring a good 5-8 or 6-10 inches overnight into Sunday morning. There could be continued snow for some locations on Sunday with another 2-4 or 3-6 inches. Check the detailed snow forecast here.

This Saturday night storm is showing signs of splitting, but I do think it'll hold together well enough to bring a powder day for most areas on Sunday. It seems like Telluride is in the best position to benefit most from this storm, whether or not it splits. But all areas should do well.

Monday should be dry and then northern Colorado will see a weaker storm on Tuesday into Wednesday. Then the first few days of March look sunny and warm, but I don't know how long that tranquil weather with last...let's hope not too long.

JOEL GRATZ

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