Colorado Daily Snow

Tuesday morning totals and more powder Wednesday morning

Summary

We saw snow from Monday morning through Monday night with totals ranging from 5-15 inches of thick, surfy snow. Tuesday will be a mixed day with breaks of sunshine, clouds, and showers. A final round of intense snow should fall from Tuesday evening through Wednesday midday with 6-15 inches of accumulation, and temperatures on Wednesday morning will be a few degrees cooler, so snow conditions could fun (not blower powder, but fun). Thursday through early next week will be mostly dry with another storm possible between May 8-10.

Short Term Forecast

Season Wrap-Up

I wrote my season wrap-up post on Wednesday, April 24. To see my favorite pictures and snowpack maps, click over to that post: https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/colorado/post/15303

Tuesday Morning

Snow fell in multiple waves on Monday and Monday night. Below are the 24-hour snow totals from Monday 500am to Tuesday 500am.

Open Resorts
Loveland: 9”
Arapahoe Basin: 6”
Breckenridge: 5”
Winter Park: 5”

Backcountry & Closed Areas
Schofield Pass: 15” Snow & 2.1” SWE
Wolf Creek: 13” & 2.2” SWE
Rocky Mountain National Park: 12” Snow & 1.2” SWE
Silverton Region: 12” & 1.1” SWE
Aspen Highlands (closed): 8-12”
Snowmass (closed): 5-10”
Copper (closed): 6”
Steamboat (closed): 6”
Vail (closed): 6”
Buttermilk (closed): 4”

Going into this round of snow on Monday and Monday night, I was looking for 6-12 inches. The open resorts were on the lower end of this range, and other areas across Colorado saw much more.

When you divide the new snow by the SWE (snow water equivalent) you get the snow-to-liquid ratio.

For example, at Schofield Pass, between Crested Butte and Aspen, 15” of snow divided by 2.1” of SWE = a snow-to-liquid ratio of 7-to-1. This is VERY thick snow.

Our average snow-to-liquid ratio during the season is about 15-to-1. Anything in the single digits, like at Schofield Pass, will feel super thick to us here in Colorado. The snow ratio in other areas, like Rocky Mountain National Park, looks to be about 10-to-1, which is still thick, but surfy fun.

Tuesday

It’ll be a mixed day with some breaks of sunshine (which will quickly turn the new snow into a wetter goo), some clouds, and some showers that could drop a few inches of new snow.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning

This will be when we’ll see the second round of intense snow. Even though a few models are waffling on the exact snow totals, I still really like this setup as we’ll have the jet stream overhead, which will provide strong energy to lift the air and create a band of not-too-fast-moving intense snowfall, slow shifting from west to east across Colorado.

And I still think Wednesday morning will ski well with this snow continuing through the morning hours and temperatures that are a few degrees colder than Tuesday morning.

Total snowfall from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning should be 6-15 inches, based on the CAIC WRF 2km model (below) and a consensus of other models as well.

Extended Forecast

We’ll see mostly dry weather from Wednesday evening through early next week. High temperatures will rise into the 40s with sunshine, so once again it’ll be time for classic spring skiing.

It still looks like we should expect a storm between about Wednesday, May 8 and Friday, May 10. Temperatures will be warm, like our current storm, so any snow that falls will be on the thicker side.

The possible storm around May 8-10 falls within NOAA's official 8-14 day outlook, which puts us in the region for below average temperatures and above average precipitation.

My next post will be on the morning of Wednesday, May 1, then I’ll take a break until (if) we see another significant storm.

Thanks for reading!

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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