Colorado Daily Snow

Thursday morning powder, then a one-week break

Summary

Wednesday’s storm delivered with 6-13 inches for most mountains and 15-20 inches east of the divide. A few inches of snow fell on Wednesday night or is falling now on Thursday morning, so you should be able to find soft powder on Thursday morning and midday. Expect mostly dry weather from Thursday night through next Wednesday, then we’ll see a storm late next week with another system during the week of March 25-29.

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Short Term Forecast

Recap of Wednesday’s Storm

Wednesday’s storm behaved roughly as we expected with snow through the day and the deepest amounts near and east of the divide.

Eldora’s new snow stake camera captured the deepness with intense snow falling east of the divide (the mountain is located about 17 direct miles west of Boulder in the foothills east of the divide). Snowfall rates were 2-4 inches per hour for a few hours on Wednesday morning, and the cam shows 17 inches accumulating through the day. The stake only extends to 14 inches…maybe a taller stake is needed for these eastern storms!

Below is Jeff, a frequent commenter, verifying the conditions in the Front Range Backcountry. Jeff mentioned to me that snow was falling so hard in the morning that it wasn’t just “free refills” but “insta-refills”! Where Jeff was skiing is a safe area away from avalanche paths/risk. If you're heading into the backcountry, PLEASE make wise decisions and consult the forecast from CAIC

Winter Park also scored deep totals with 14 inches falling during the day on Wednesday and then another 4 inches on Wednesday night after lifts closed.

Below are a few photos from Winter Park showing the deep!

And while the snow wasn’t quite as deep for areas west of the divide, we still saw 6-13 inches accumulate through the day and evening, so not too shabby! Here’s a powder shot from Beaver Creek.

Thursday

The storm is now well to the east of Colorado, spinning over southeastern Nebraska, with a little moisture remaining over Colorado. There is more snow falling than you see over western Colorado, but the western Colorado radar site is down, so we can't "see" the snow via radar though we can infer that it's falling via satellite and see that it's snowing via on-mountain cams.

If you head out on Thursday morning, you’ll find soft snow from Wednesday, PLUS there are snow showers ongoing now early on Thursday morning (before sunrise), and these showers could lay down a few inches of fluff by the time chairs start spinning.

It looks like Thursday morning’s snow showers will end by midday, and then we could see a few late-afternoon snow squalls develop, especially over the southern, central, and eastern mountains. Any of these squalls could produce a quick inch before they move on.

Other than the snow, expect a chilly day on Thursday with temperatures in the teens and mostly cloudy skies due to residual mid-and-upper level moisture that is lingering behind the storm.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Sunny, dry, and warming each day with Friday’s highs in the 20s and highs over the weekend in the 30s. It’ll feel like Spring Break 2019!

Extended Forecast

I am watching three chances for snow over the next two weeks.

* Tuesday 3/19 & Wednesday 3/20: A weak storm, maybe some showers and light accumulations, favoring the southern and eastern mountains.

* Thursday 3/21, Friday 3/22, Saturday, 3/23: A chance for a moderate or strong storm which could favor the southern and eastern mountains. Maybe enough snow for one or two powder days.

* Monday 3/25 – Friday 3/29: A moderate or strong storm will likely bring snow for one or two days, though I do not have confidence about the exact timing, so I’ll leave it as “sometime during that week”.

Thanks for reading!

My next update will be on Friday morning.

JOEL GRATZ

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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, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

East of the Divide
Eldora, Echo, 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

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