On Saturday there will be light snow showers over the central and southern mountains. Sunday will be dry. Then from Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon, expect snow across all mountains with 10-20+ inches possible in the south and 5-10 inches in the central and northern mountains. Tuesday will offer the best chance for some powder.
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Short Term Forecast
On Friday night into Saturday morning, light snow showers fell across the mountains near I-70 and down through the central and southern mountains. It was nice to see some flakes on the mountain cams but accumulations are very light, just a coating to an inch from what I can tell.
Update: At 815 I just saw that Wolf Creek received 2" from a burst of snow early this morning. That's likely the most that any mountain will see from this weak storm as even the clouds are starting to clear at Wolf now during the mid-morning. Perhaps there will be a few more showers through midday as additional moisture hangs around through midday.
Throughout the day on Saturday, we should see flakes moving away and clearing skies over most mountains by midday and afternoon.
In the wake of this weak system, Saturday night through Sunday will be dry.
Storm Sunday Night to Tuesday
This storm could be our best chance for moderate or significant snow totals between now and early December.
The positive factors will be decently strong storm energy and plenty of moisture. The forecast moisture for Monday evening is about 200% of average, and a lot of moisture can lead to significant snow accumulations.
The negative factors will warm temperatures for the majority of the storm as well as a southerly wind direction that does not favor most mountains.
On Sunday evening, precipitation should start in the southern mountains. On Monday, precipitation should be the most intense in the southern mountains with showers for other mountains. On Monday night into Tuesday, colder air will arrive and the wind direction will shift to blow from the northwest and this should bring more snow to the central and northern mountains. On Tuesday, we'll see snow showers likely linger through the day for many mountains.
Total precipitation amounts should be greatest in the southern mountains and light to moderate elsewhere. The map below is a multi-model average forecast. Multiply by about 13 to estimate snowfall.
Like past storms during this early season, the southerly flow will favor Silverton and Wolf Creek for the deepest snow totals. With warm temperatures, the snow will be thick on Monday and likely lighter and fluffier on Tuesday. The University of Utah multi-model graphic forecasts 10-20 inches at Wolf Creek with plenty of possibility for more than 20 inches.
For the central and northern mountains, the warm temperatures and unfavorable southerly wind on Monday should limit accumulations, though, with a lot of moisture in the air, it's possible that some storm cells drop a quick couple of inches. Monday night into Tuesday will be the better time for the central and northern mountains as the wind blows from the west and northwest and temperatures cool. The University of Utah multi-model graphic forecasts 5-10 inches for the central and northern mountains with some extension of the probabilities below and above this range. With an unfavorable wind direction for much of the storm, I'd err a bit toward the low side.
The takeaway is that Tuesday could be a powder day for many areas with 10-20+ inches in the south and 5-10 inches for other mountains. Of course, expect early-season limited terrain and a thin base.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving should be dry here in Colorado as a storm approaches from the northwest.
Unfortunately, this storm from the northwest will split into two pieces as it approaches Colorado on Thanksgiving Day.
From later Thanksgiving day through Friday, November 27th it's possible that we'll see some snow from the southern portion of this splitting storm. The most likely scenario is that we'll see little to no snow, but there are some scenarios that show this southern portion of the storm stalling near the four corners and pushing more moisture and snow into Colorado next Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving. We'll see how it shakes out, though my expectations are low at the moment.
Looking ahead into early December, I am still watching for a possible storm around December 2-4. Like the storm on November 27, this one could also stall near or south of Colorado, which could lead to many possibilities from little snow to multiple days of snow. Fingers crossed that we get lucky and the storm brings a lot of snow.
Thanks for reading!
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