Colorado Daily Snow

Wednesday will be cold with snow ending

Summary

Tuesday’s storm dropped 2-6 inches on most mountains with up to 8 inches at Telluride. On Wednesday morning, snow will be ending and we’ll see a cold day with high temperatures in the single digits. Looking ahead, temperatures will get back to normal by the weekend and we should see about 10 days of calm weather. Our next chance for a storm could be during the week of November 11-15th.

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Short Term Forecast

Before getting to the forecast, let’s take a moment to recap the most recent storm.

We saw the first wave of snow from Sunday into Monday morning, then after a break on Monday afternoon, the second wave of snow fell from Monday night through Tuesday night.

We went into the second part of the storm expecting 2-6 inches from Monday night through Tuesday night, and that’s indeed what we saw based on resort snow stake cams and SNOTEL stations. The high-side surprises for Tuesday’s snowfall were 8 inches at Telluride and 7 inches at Monarch.

Below is the total snowfall from both parts of the storm, covering the period from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday sunrise.

Monarch: 17”
Telluride: 14”
Breckenridge: 13”
Schofield Pass: 13”
Steamboat: 13”
Vail: 13”
Beaver Creek: 12”
Eldora: 11”
Keystone: 10”
Loveland: 10”
Rocky Mountain National Park: 10”
Arapahoe Basin: 9”
Aspen Highlands: 9”
Snowmass: 9”
Wolf Creek: 9”
Cameron Pass: 8”
Winter Park: 8”
Berthoud Pass: 7”
Aspen Mountain: 7”

This was a good two-part storm, though totals likely would have been greater had the second part of the storm been a little warmer and contained more moisture. But I’ll relax my standards as it is October after all, and I am thankful that many central and northern mountains will wind up measuring 40-50 inches of snow during the month.

Now on Wednesday morning, snow is coming to an end and temperatures are COLD! The map below shows readings at 500am on Wednesday. The blue colors are temperatures that are below zero degrees on the Fahrenheit scale, and this includes most mountains and even lower-elevation areas too. These readings are about 20-30 degrees below average for this time of year.

Wednesday will turn out to be pretty sunny but still cold with highs in the single digits. The forecast for Thursday and Friday is for dry weather with lots of sunshine and temperatures rising about 20 degrees compared to Wednesday, with highs in the low 20s.

Currently, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, and Loveland are open for the season.

With the recent snow, more mountains have announced early openings:

* Eldora will open for the season starting on Friday, November 1st. See the details.

* Monarch will be open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with about 20 runs covered by all-natural snow (no machine-made snow). See the details.

* Wolf Creek will be open Thursday through Sunday. See the details.

Extended Forecast

The only action I see over the next 10 days will be two glancing blows as storms skirt the northeastern corner of Colorado.

The northeastern mountains (along the continental divide and north of I-70) could see clouds and light snow showers on Friday, November 1 and again on Monday night, November 4th. Accumulations should be little to nothing.

Otherwise, temperatures will climb back toward average for early November. This means readings will be plenty cold enough to make snow on most mountains, but we will NOT see another night of well-below zero temperatures through the first 10 days of November.

The storm track for the seven days from November 4-11 will shift to a position just to our north and east. This should bring snow to western Canada, maybe Montana, and snowmaking weather to the northern plains and the northeast. In Colorado, most mountains will see temperatures within a few degrees of the average.

The precipitation forecast from November 4-11 is about what we’d expect based on the storm track, with drier-than-average conditions here in Colorado.

The take-away is that October has left us with above-average snowpack for this time of year, and temperatures that are supportive of snowmaking should allow resorts to open early or at least on time. But there will not be any significant natural snow through the first 11-ish day of November, and we’ll look ahead to the week of November 11-15 as the time when we might see another storm here in Colorado.

Thanks for reading!

My next update will be on Thursday morning when I’ll post some snowpack graphics and continue looking ahead for the chance of the next storm.

JOEL GRATZ

Announcements

Upcoming talks

These talks are usually 45 minutes and allow me to show a little of the science behind snow forecasting, have some fun, and answer lots of questions. I’ll post details about each talk as they are available.

* Golden: Oct 30 @ Powder7 from 730-930pm. Details here.
* Frisco: Nov 8 @ Highside Brewery
* Nederland: Nov 12 @ Salto Coffee / Tin Shed Sports
* Denver: Nov 14 @ Denver Athletic Club
* Wheat Ridge: Nov 19 @ Downriver Equipment
* Evergreen: Nov 21 @ Boone Mountain Sports
* Breckenridge: Dec 6 @ Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge
* Basalt: Dec 12 @ Bristlecone Mountain Sports

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

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