Colorado Daily Snow

Significant storm Thursday through Friday

Summary

Monday brought snow through the day with generally 2-4 inches, a few areas around 6 inches, and a deep surprise in the southern mountains. Tuesday will be dry with a chance for light snow in the far northern mountains on Tuesday night. Then after dry weather on Wednesday, a strong storm will bring snow to all mountains on Thursday through Friday with 2+ feet possible for some southern mountains and 5-10+ inches for most other mountains.

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Short Term Forecast

Most of the current storm cycle has focused on the northern mountains and particularly the area around Steamboat. This image was taken on Sunday, January 12th at Steamboat Powdercats just north of Steamboat Resort. Our friends at Powder7.com ski shop were on the cat that day and it was deep and fluffy!

The most recent wave of snow on Monday dropped on average of 2-4 inches during the day. Mountains that do well with a wind from the west-southwest saw higher numbers of 5-7 inches, like Crested Butte and Monarch. Beaver Creek's 5 inches was higher than I expected even though they can do well with a wind from the west.

The surprises on Monday were in the southern mountains where Silverton picked up 10 inches and Wolf Creek measured 10-15 inches during the day. Wow! The 24-hour total of 19 inches at Wolf Creek was a massive surprise as I figured at most about half of that amount would accumulate. Good things can happen with adequate moisture, cool temperatures, and a good wind direction.

Looking ahead, Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry at nearly all mountains. The exception will be on Tuesday night when the mountains near and north of I-70 could get light snow. I am keeping my expectations around 1-3 inches with maybe slightly higher amounts at Steamboat and north.

Then it’ll be time for a strong storm for all mountains.

In the southern mountains, snow will start around Thursday midday and continue through Friday. The latest models show totals of 1-2 feet at Wolf Creek, Purgatory, and Silverton with 8-16 inches around Telluride. These mountains will be favored due to an extended period of winds from the southwest and west-southwest. The best powder will be Friday's morning first-chair through early afternoon.

Central and northern mountains will see snow start on Thursday night and continue through about Friday at sunset. I’ll stick with 5-10 inches for these areas. Snow will be OK (a few inches) for Friday’s first chair and will get deeper through the day. If the snow hangs on a little after sunset on Friday, then Saturday’s first chair could also be good in the northern mountains. 

I'll provide even more details about the Thursday afternoon and Friday storm in my post on Wednesday.

Extended Forecast

It looks like we’ll take a break from snow for about one week between January 18-25th. After that, we could see storms return though I have little confidence in any details.

Thanks for reading!

My next update will be on Wednesday 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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