Thursday was a deep AND fluffy day for many mountains, and it doesn’t get much better than that. With a few more inches of snow falling on Thursday night, Friday will also off soft, fluffy, and in some less-tracked spots, it'll also be deep. The weekend should be dry, then we’ll see light snow (2-4 inches) Sunday night into Monday, with the potential for a strong storm during the first few days of February.
Short Term Forecast
Total snowfall from Wednesday night through Friday morning is in the 10-17 inch range for Steamboat, Winter Park, Vail, Monarch, Irwin, Telluride, and Silverton.
These are great numbers for a 36 hour period, but what made this time special was the quality of the snow, which was as light and fluffy as you can get. Two seasons ago, on a similar day, during chairlift conversation, we came up the nickname of “Max Fluff” for snow like this. It’s around 20-to-1 (20 inches of snow to 1 inch of liquid) or greater for a snow ratio, and if the underlying base is soft, this is the best scenario and it leads to lots of faceshots.
Click over to these photos on Instagram which show the faceshot-quality of the snow.
Friday’s conditions should be soft with plenty of fluffy to enjoy, though there will be more tracks as we only saw 2-5 inches of new snow on Thursday night, which isn’t enough to completely fill in the previous day’s tracks (though with snow this light, you really don’t feel the tracks).
Following a dry weekend, the next storm will bring snow from Sunday night through Monday. This will be a fast-moving system with limited moisture, so accumulations should stay low, just a few inches, and the bigger story will be the cold temperatures behind the storm with readings around or below 0F on Monday night and likely again on Tuesday night.
During the past week, the longer-range outlook showed a chance for more significant storms starting in early February, and now that we’re within a week of these dates, there is increasing consistency in the models showing a storm sometime around February 1-4.
It’s still too soon to speculate on the details of this system, but I like the trend toward a stronger storm so maybe we'll start off early February with a powder day. Stay tuned.
Thanks for reading!
My next update will be on Saturday morning.
I will be on the road (skiing!) through February 8th and while I will try to post every day in the morning as usual, occasionally my posts might be a bit shorter or go live at somewhat different times. Thanks for understanding that I need to get my powder fix as well:-)
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