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
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
Snow fell in multiple waves on Monday and Monday night. Below are the 24-hour snow totals from Monday 500am to Tuesday 500am.
Arapahoe Basin: 6”
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.
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.
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!
It just happened last night, April 29! We combined the login and All-Access subscription ($19/year) for OpenSnow and OpenSummit so that ONE login and ONE subscription provides All-Access to BOTH apps!
As we transition into hiking season, please check out OpenSummit.com, which is our summer app that has precipitation, lightning, temperature, and wind forecasts for the 1,000 highest and most notable mountains around the country. OpenSummit is only an iPhone app right now (late April 2019) and we are working to make it a website and an Android app by late spring or early summer.
Even without “Daily” Daily Snow Posts, the hourly and 10-day forecasts for each mountain will continue to be updated every day, so of course, feel free to use our OpenSnow website and app for your spring skiing adventures.
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