Thursday and Friday will continue to be warm and dry. Then on Friday night into Saturday, we should see 1-5 inches of snow for the southern 2/3rds of Colorado. On Sunday night into Monday, additional snow is possible in the southern mountains. Then Monday night into Tuesday could bring a colder and stronger storm with moderate accumulations.
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Short Term Forecast
If you're looking for the weather forecast, skip down as I am going on a short tangent about enjoying the sunny and warm weather.
Wednesday in the Sun
This week has been a bummer in the snow department. No natural snow and temperatures have been warm which means limited or no snowmaking.
But all is not lost because it's still super fun to get on the hill in the sunshine, especially when there's a little kiddo involved!
I took my 3-year-old son to Keystone on Wednesday because the weather was dry and warm and the skies were mostly sunny. That's the perfect weather for young family skiing!
I'm posting this picture to prove that I'm a human and that an automated AI bot does not (yet) write the Colorado Daily Snow.
Warm and dry weather is perfect to allow a socially distanced picnic on the deck at top of the mountain.
For anyone with young skiers that are getting out on the hill, there are two products that my son uses that work especially well. I receive no commission from the following products and links and am just sharing because they have worked for us.
The first is mittens. Getting the thumb in a glove is such a pain for kiddos. These Mittyz come in a few different animal prints and provide a fun excuse to "high-paw" our son when he's on the hill.
The second is the Co-Pilot Ski Trainer which are straps that the parent holds and attaches to loops that go around the kiddo's boots. I like these because it helps to control my son but also allows him to get a sense of his own core body balance. Other straps usually attach to a chest harness which I just felt could pull his upper body around a bit too much. I am NOT a children's ski instructor (though I did instruct in high school) and I am not giving official "how to teach your kid to ski" advice. I am just sharing what is working for us. Sorry for the grainy photo – it's tough to hold the straps, ski, and take video/pics!
So that's how myself and my son found a lot of joy in an early-season non-powder-day. Of course I want it to dump snow and ski deep pow, but in the meantime, figuring out how to have fun in the sun is our game.
Even though we have had dry weather this week and most mountains have a below-average snowpack (except for the far southern mountains), there is still some snow on the ground at most mountains which is nice to see.
On Thursday and Friday, we will not add to our snowpack. On Thursday morning, weak showers are showing up on radar over the northern mountains though I could find no evidence of actual flakes at the mountain cams near Steamboat and Cameron Pass. And even if flakes do fall, I expect light or more likely no accumulations.
Next Storm Friday Night to Saturday
This general presence of this system has been forecasted by the models for over a week, but now that we're just 36 hours from the first flakes, I still have little confidence in the details of the forecast.
My best estimate is that the I-70 mountains, the central mountains, and the southern mountains have the best chance for 1-5 inches of snow from Friday evening through Saturday evening.
While several positive factors will be lurking around Colorado, including good moisture and the jet stream overhead, there is a lack of organization of these factors and that leads to low confidence in snow totals.
If we do see any upside surprise, it would mean some soft snow during the day on Saturday.
Taking the University of Utah multi-model forecast for Crested Butte, we can see that most model versions show 5 or fewer inches with just a few outliers between 5-8 inches. The point is that we should keep our expectations low.
Sunday to Tuesday
Sunday morning should be dry.
Then on Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening, and/or Monday morning, the southern mountains could see additional snow as lingering energy from the Saturday system hangs around the south.
On Tuesday, there should be a stronger (and colder) storm that moves through Colorado and most mountains could see low-to-moderate snow accumulations. Fingers crossed that the latest models are on to something and we do see this colder system with 3-6+ inches of snow.
Looking ahead toward Thanksgiving and beyond, I see two general times that are favorable for snow and cooler weather.
The first time is around Thanksgiving Day, November 26th.
The second time is about one week later, sometime around December 3rd to 4th.
Since both systems are a week away, I'll wait to look at the details of the forecast for a little while longer.
Thanks for reading!
PS - We just released a new All-Access subscription. It's a Group Subscription that's only $39.99/year for 4 people. It works just like a family plan on Netflix or Spotify, for example. As an incentive to try it out, our friends at Powder7 Ski Shop are giving away a pair of Hestra Fall Line Gloves.
Become an All-Access Group subscriber by November 30th and you'll be automatically entered to win. It's that simple!
NEW: Avalanche Forecasts
Many folks have requested this over the past year and we're excited to now show avalanche forecasts for regions across North America.
You can use our map view to see a quick overview of the avalanche forecast conditions and you can also go back in time for the last 7 days to see how the avalanche conditions have changed by using the slider at the bottom of the map.
Also, we integrated the avalanche forecast into each mountain location page under a new tab called "Avalanche Forecast".
The avalanche forecasts are freely available and are the foundation of any backcountry experience. Please check these forecasts each time you head out of controlled terrain!
You can view the avalanche forecasts right now on our website and they will be live on our iPhone and Android apps very soon.
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