We’ll watch for three storms during the next seven days. The first system will bring 1-3 inches to the northern mountains on Monday night and Tuesday morning. The second system should drop 5-10 inches on the southern mountains and 2-6 inches elsewhere on Wednesday night and Thursday. And the third storm will bring snow from Saturday night through Monday morning. The best chance to enjoy soft snow and a moderate powder day will be on Thursday in the southern mountains.
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Short Term Forecast
Sunday was a beautiful day with sunny skies and temperatures warming into the 20s.
Monday will also be dry and mostly sunny with a few high, thin clouds filtering the sun and temperatures rising a few degrees into the upper 20s to low 30s.
Storm #1: Monday Night
The first system of the week should bring light snow to the northern mountains with flakes perhaps touching the Aspen area. Total snow should be 1-3 inches on Monday night, so you might find a bit of a refresh for Tuesday morning.
Storm #2: Wednesday Night & Thursday
This storm will be weak but the good news is that it will bring a good slug of moisture. Because of the generous amount of moisture in the air, my expectation for this storm is for moderate snow totals and a pretty high chance for soft, enjoyable snow on Thursday.
The southern mountains will be favored with 5-10 inches and the central and northern mountains should also get into the action with 2-6 inches. These weak-in-strength-but-high-in-moisture storms can offer upside surprises, so keep your eye on Thursday as it’ll be the best chance to ski powder this week. For timing, expect fresh snow from Wednesday night and flakes continuing to fall through the day on Thursday.
Here is the multi-model forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday. This model is NOT corrected for its underestimation of the terrain, so actual snow amounts can be a bit higher.
Zooming into Coal Bank Pass in the southern mountains, between Purgatory and Silverton, this University of Utah multi-model forecast below IS corrected for its underestimation of terrain and yields roughly 5-10 inches.
Storm #3: Saturday Night to Monday
It’s likely that all mountains will see snow during this time with at least a few inches of accumulation. Some models bring the storm through as one solid system while others show two pieces with energy tracking north and south of Colorado.
Keep your eye on Sunday and/or Monday morning as a time when we might be able to enjoy at least a low-end amount of powder.
I cannot offer any additional clarity beyond what I mentioned yesterday.
There should be a chance for a storm sometime between Thursday, December 12 to Sunday, December 15.
Beyond the 15th, most models hint at continued chances for storms around the western US, but we’re now pushing up against a 15-day time range and there is no ability to pick out storm details 2+ weeks into the future. I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks for reading!
My next update will be on Tuesday morning.
PS – I have two more talks on my schedule and I hope to see some of you at one of them (listed below)!
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.
* Breckenridge: Dec 6 @ Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge
- Startup Weekend Kickoff Event
- 530 Dinner & Networking
- 630 My presentation discussing BOTH business & weather
- 730 Startup Weekend Kickoff
- 830 Wrap up
- Tickets $25 includes dinner with a portion of proceeds donated to local non-profits
- See the event overview and buy tickets
* Basalt: Dec 12 @ Bristlecone Mountain Sports
- 700-730 Light refreshments
- 730-830 Presentation + Q&A
- Tickets are $10/person (proceeds benefit Roaring Fork Conservancy)
- More details
- Purchase a ticket in advance (might sell out)
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