Saturday will be dry and warm with highs in the 50s. On Sunday, showers will increase during the afternoon, and then we'll see steadier snow from Sunday evening through Monday afternoon. Total snowfall will be up to 6-12 inches near and east of the divide with lower and more scattered amounts elsewhere. Monday could be a thicker yet still fun powder day.
Short Term Forecast
Friday was a warm and sunny day, and Saturday will be similarly warm with on-mountain highs in the 50s. There will be more high-level clouds filtering the sunshine throughout the day on Saturday.
On Saturday evening there could be a brief shower across the northern mountains.
Then on Sunday, look for a dry start then more clouds and showers during the afternoon and evening. These afternoon and evening showers will also bring the threat of lightning, so something to think about if you are planning late-day adventures.
From Sunday evening through Monday afternoon we'll see the best chance for steadier snow near and east of the divide (thanks to a low-level wind from the east and northeast) with more scattered precipitation (or at least harder-to-predict) at other mountains.
The multi-model total precipitation forecast shows significant totals (1+ inch) over the northeastern mountains with generally lower totals as we head south and west.
Because of the warmer nature of the storm (it is May after all!), lower-elevation precipitation will fall as rain below about 8,000 feet. During times of more intense precipitation, the snow level will dip below this elevation, but the best chance for deeper snow will be above about 8,000 feet. The multi-model snow forecast below shows where the precipitation will fall as snow.
The best chance for totals of 6-12 inches of snow will be along and especially just east of the divide in the areas colored in purple and pink. The resorts that remain open (Mary Jane, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge) should see at least a few inches of snow by Monday midday, though the deeper totals should be just east of these locations.
Tuesday and Wednesday will bring more snow showers, though amounts should be lighter. There is a chance that there will be a few inches of snow on Wednesday morning, so while Monday morning and midday should be the deeper day of the week, there could be a refresh in the northern mountains on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday afternoon through Saturday, May 8 should be dry. The warmest days will be on Friday and Saturday.
Then the next storm is possible between about Sunday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 12. It's far too soon to lock in details, but at least some snow is possible over the higher terrain and especially over the northern and eastern mountains (sound familiar?!).
I'll write daily updates through this next storm and likely post my final update on Wednesday, May 5.
Finally, as we think about the transition to spring and summer...
Also, check out OpenSummit (website & app) which provides mountain-specific weather forecasts for hikes and summits across Colorado and the United States. Importantly, we include a forecast for lightning risk which is especially useful when planning adventures near and above treeline.
Thanks for reading!
Steamboat, Bluebird Backcountry, 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
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains
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