Sunday's storms gave way to colder weather and steadier snow on Sunday night into Monday morning. Total snowfall by Monday AM has been about 2-6 inches across most higher-elevations mountains and we should see at least that much fall again on Monday and Monday night. Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday will be showery. Then we'll see dry weather Thursday and Friday before another storm returns.
Short Term Forecast
Sunday brought multiple rounds of showers and lightning across Colorado. Then on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night, we saw cooler temperatures and snow accumulate at elevations near and above 8,000 feet.
As of Monday morning, the most precipitation has fallen over the front-range foothills and western plains near Denver where totals have come close to or exceeded 1.5 inches during 24 hours (that's a significant amount, roughly 6-8% of total average annual precipitation).
In terms of snowfall, looking at snow stake cams and SNOTEL stations, here are some amounts across the state.
6" Eldora (closed)
5" Grand Mesa (backcountry)
4" Winter Park
3-6" Vail (closed)
2" Arapahoe Basin
1-3" Aspen (closed)
It's May 3rd but it sure looks like winter at some spots!
For the rest of Monday, the storm will slowly track directly across Colorado and we'll see more snow throughout the day and probably through about Monday at midnight. At least a few more inches of snow could accumulate at many mountains, and with plenty of moisture in the air, any stronger cells could produce a few inches in just an hour or two.
On Monday late night into Tuesday morning, we should see the snow wind down.
But then from Tuesday midday through Wednesday afternoon, more showers will develop, especially over the northern mountains, and we should see another few inches of random accumulations.
The animation below is the forecast radar from Monday morning through Wednesday midday. You can see the first round of snow on Monday, followed by a lull, and then more northern showers on Tuesday into Wednesday.
Thursday and Friday should be dry and warm with on-mountain high temperatures in the 50s.
Then Saturday, May 8 through Wednesday, May 12 will likely be another time of clouds and showers. The best chance for precipitation should be over the northern half of Colorado. Also, temperatures will be warmer than the current storm so snowfall should be confined to near and above 9,000-10,000 feet. Winter is doing its best to hang on…
While there will be more snow to talk about through mid-May, it'll be confined to the higher elevations, so I'm going on summer break and my last post of the season will be on Wednesday, May 5:-)
As we look ahead 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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