Colorado Daily Snow

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Southwest flow, southwest flow, southwest flow

Summary

Southwest flow delivered 6-16 inches to favored mountains on Friday night. Southwest flow will continue with multiple waves of snowfall through early next week. While other mountains should see at least a few inches of accumulation, the deepest accumulations will occur in the southwest. Did I use the word "southwest" enough?!

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Short Term Forecast

Friday

Snow showers fell across the state though accumulations were limited. This was the day before the storm really cranked up.

Friday Night

The storm cranked up with intense snow over the far southern mountains and moderate snow for mountains farther to the west.

Saturday Morning Totals

As expected, snowfall through Saturday at 500am heavily favored the far southwestern mountains. Also as expected, mountains farther to the west did ok, with mountains farther to the north and east not getting much or any snow.

Southern Mountains
16" Silverton
10" Coal Bank Pass
10" Red Mountain Pass
9" Molas Pass
9" Wolf Creek
6" Purgatory
3" Telluride

Central Mountains
6" Irwin Catskiing
4" Crested Butte
4" Powderhorn
4" Sunlight
3" Snowmass
2" Aspen Highlands

Northern Mountains
4" Steamboat
1" Beaver Creek

Here is the snow stake cam at Purgatory.

Saturday

Snow will continue to favor the areas that it has already favored, namely the far southwestern mountains (3-10 inches) and also areas farther to the west (2-6 inches). As a wave of energy pushes across the state, we could see some flakes (a few inches) for areas that are not favored by the southwest flow. But as you see on our radar, the name of the game is southwest flow.

Saturday Night

This could be a short lull in the snow, though flakes may find a way to continue over the far southwestern mountains.

Sunday to Monday

Another wave of energy will bring snow first to the far southwestern mountains on Sunday, with some snow spilling into the central and northern mountains from later Sunday into Monday. For accumulations, expect more of the same with another 3-10 inches in the far southwestern mountains and less elsewhere.

Monday Night

This could be a time that actually favors the northeastern mountains near I-70 and near and east of the divide. As Monday's energy pulls away to the east, it could induce at least a few hours of steady snow and 2-6 inches of accumulation. Eldora, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, and nearby areas could be favored.

Tuesday

Another wave of snow will focus on the far southwestern mountains with 3-10 inches while other mountains continue to see just dribs and drabs with a few inches possible.

Storm Total

This map says it all. Southwest flow will heavily favor the far southwestern mountains with 6-24 inches of additional accumulation through Tuesday night. Other mountains will only be favored if they are farther to the west, or on Monday night, the northeastern mountains will have a short time in the spotlight.

Extended Forecast

I see two distinct chances for snow in the longer-range forecast.

Saturday, January 30th will be our first chance for snow. This storm looks like it could be on the weaker side.

Wednesday, February 3rd will be our second chance for snow. This storm looks like it could be on the stronger side.

NOAA's precipitation outlook through early February is delivering news that just isn't awesome for us but will be good for areas to our west.

From January 28 to February 1st, California should get walloped.

From January 30 through February 5, the higher chance for a lot of snow should shift to the Northwest.

This longer-range forecast doesn't make me super pumped for big snow here in Colorado, but at least we'll see chances for storms now and again, and maybe we'll get lucky.

Thanks for reading!

JOEL GRATZ

Announcements

Backcountry

If you've seen pictures of backcountry riding in fresh powder, and it looks appealing, please remember that going into the backcountry is awesome AND requires education if you're going to enjoy it safely and respectfully.

This is a great place to start to find out more about taking educational classes, hiring guides, and in general, to learn how to get into the backcountry and have a ton of fun and do so safely: https://www.colorado.com/WinterBackcountrySafety

Geography Key

Northern Mountains
Steamboat, Granby, Beaver Creek, Vail, Ski Cooper, Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, 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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