We'll see warm and mostly dry weather through Saturday, a few rain showers on Sunday, and then a stronger storm will bring snow to most mountains on Monday afternoon, Monday night, and linger into Tuesday morning. Accumulations should be at least a few inches and maybe 6+ inches in a few high-elevation spots.
Short Term Forecast
The Aspen leaves are starting to turn and the weather is finally clear as there is no smoke in the air. Ah, September around Colorado is amazing!
Of course, September is also the month that brings changes in the weather as we transition to fall, and right on track, we're looking ahead to a storm that will bring snow to our mountains early next week.
Before the storm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday should be dry and warm (there is just a low chance for a few showers on Saturday afternoon).
On Sunday, we'll see a few more showers, possibly arriving as early as the morning. These should be mostly rain showers as temperatures will be warm.
Then on Monday into Tuesday, a strong storm will cross Colorado with the coldest air tracking over the northern 2/3rds of the state.
The most likely time for snow will be Monday afternoon through Tuesday midday. This is when we'll see the best combination of colder air and precipitation.
With snow levels getting down to 7,000 feet or maybe lower, it's likely that the higher passes will become snow-covered, so think about this if you're planning to drive on Monday night into Tuesday morning, especially along I-70 between Vail and Georgetown and also on some of the other highways south to Monarch Pass.
Snow amounts could be anything from a few inches to 6 inches or more. One multi-model ensemble shows quite a range between 1 inch and 21 inches. I think 21 inches is mostly a fantasy (dreams can come true, right?!) yet something in the 3-6 or 4-8 inch range feels like a reasonable high-end forecast for now.
The best chance for the most snow will be at the highest elevations from about Monarch and Aspen northward to the I-70 corridor and the front range peaks north to Wyoming. We have plenty of time over the next few days to update the forecast as the storm moves closer.
Tuesday will be a cold day with mountain temperatures in the 20s.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we'll dry out and warm up into the 40s.
Looking ahead, there will be another chance for cooler temperatures and maybe some snow around Friday and Saturday, September 24-25, but I have low confidence as the models are split and this potential storm is still 8-9 days away. Maybe we'll see more snow, or maybe we'll stay dry. It's still too early to know.
We're back in storm tracking mode, and even though that makes me a bit sad that the warm and comfortable summer days are ending, it feels good to be heading back into powder season.
Thanks for reading!
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