Colorado Daily Snow

February 22, 2013 7:53am MST

Summary: Today should be a good day with soft snow from the last 36 hours and an additional few inches for many areas. Friday night and Saturday morning will be a lull, then a strong cold front moves through between about 4-8pm with heavy snow. Moderate snow should last through the early AM hours, and Sunday morning should be a powder day with light to moderate snow squalls continuing. Monday is dry then a weak storm should bring a few inches on Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Thursday through the weekend should dry out and warm up.

Some areas in southern and central Colorado saw a few more inches of snow overnight, and after a little lull this morning, snow showers will re-intensify after about 11am and last through early evening. Favored areas will be from I-70 south to Aspen, Monarch, Telluride, and down through the San Juans. Expect perhaps 2-4 inches from the middle of the day through this evening.

Tonight into Friday morning will be a lull. Likely still some clouds around, but low to to no accumulations.

The big deal is a cold front that will move through most areas between about 4-8pm on Saturday afternoon. It'll hit Steamboat earlier around 3-4pm, then through I-70 and Aspen around 5-6pm, and then through the rest of the mountains earlier. This front will bring a burst of very heavy snow and strong winds. Driving will be tough. Some snow could fall ahead of this front during the day (check the detailed accumulation forecast here), though any of this will be a bonus to soften the slopes as most of the snow will fall in the afternoon and evening just before the front, along the front, and during a few hours after the front. This means that most snow will fall after close on Saturday and Sunday should be excellent, especially considering the fresh snow that's already on the ground to soften the base.

Here is a forecast for where the band of snow will be at 6pm on Saturday night. Of course this won't be exactly right, but it gives you an idea of how the storm will evolve.

Snow band moves through Colorado

Expect a downturn in the snow by late evening on Saturday for many valleys, but snow showers should continue for the mountains through the night. Dress warm on Sunday morning as temperatures will likely be between about 0-5 degrees F. The total accumulations should be in the double digits for many areas from Saturday midday through Sunday midday. The storm is dropping a bit further south than the earlier forecasts, but it's not that big of a deal. Because of this slight southward shift, I feel good about my earlier forecasts which indicated that Telluride would be a bullseye though most other areas should do well also.

Snow showers should persist on Sunday. We'll see a few additional inches in heavier snow squalls and the skiing should be great.

We'll dry out on Monday, then another weak storm will bring a few inches to most locations on Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning.

Beyond this, we'll get drier and warmer on Thursday through the weekend. This dry and warm weather looks to last through about the first week of March, then we'll see what happens. It's too far away to have any confidence in the forecast beyond about March 5th or so.

JOEL GRATZ

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