Snow will fall heavily Wednesday night, turn lighter and more showery on Thursday, then reintensify Thursday night into Friday morning. Thursday will offer powder, and Friday morning might be even deeper and fluffier for the northern half of Colorado. Saturday will be dry, then we'll see another round of light to moderate snow on Sunday and again on Tuesday night.
Today, Tuesday, will be the last dry day of the week. The storm that is currently spinning off the coast of Washington and British Columbia will head this way on Wednesday and will bring snow through Friday morning.
Satellite image on Tuesday morning. The two areas of spin west of British Columbia will move toward the southeast and will blanket Colorado in snow later this week. Source: Weathertap.com
Between Wednesday night and Friday morning, most mountains will see double-digit totals, with some areas potentially exceeding 15 inches. Here's what I think will happen, by region:
See the detailed snow forecast for all mountains here: http://opsw.co/CO1-5
- Steamboat will see a few showers Wednesday afternoon, heavy snow Wednesday night, lighter more showery snow on Thursday, then another round of heavier snow Thursday night. The snow on Thursday night should be light and fluffy as colder air works in, so while Thursday will be a fun powder day, Friday morning has the potential to be even softer and deeper.
- I-70 mountains will see a few showers Wednesday afternoon, moderate snow Wednesday night, lighter showers on Thursday, then another round of colder, fluffier snow Thursday night. The winds will blow from a west and perhaps west-northwest direction, but it doesn't appear they'll get to northwest. A west wind favors Beaver Creek, Cooper, and the west side of Vail, with less snow east of Vail Pass toward Summit County. If the wind does get to the northwest on Thursday night, then all areas will see higher accumulations, but I have less confidence in that part of the forecast. Therefore the best chance for deeper powder is likely further west, at Beaver Creek on Thursday and perhaps Vail on Friday morning. That said, all mountains will see snow, I'm just trying to pick out some details.
- Central mountains (Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Irwin, Crested Butte) look to be in the crosshairs of this storm, especially with a west wind favoring Aspen, Irwin, and Monarch. Thursday will be a great powder day with near double-digits possible on Wednesday night. A few more inches might accumulate on Thursday, then we'll have to see if the next round of snow on Thursday night will get far enough south to hit this area. I think it will bring a few fluffy inches, especially to Aspen, Irwin, and Monarch, so Friday morning could be fun as well.
- Southern mountains (Telluride, Silverton, Durango, Wolf Creek) will get the heaviest snow on Wednesday night, so Thursday morning is likely the best time to ride. An additional few inches might fall on Thursday in scattered snow showers, then Telluride and Silverton will see a few more inches Thursday night.
The summary is that most areas will see 6+ inches Wednesday night, so Thursday will be fun. Then another round of fluffier snow will fall across the northern half of Colorado on Thursday night, so Friday morning might offer the fluffiest and deepest turns with the lowest chance of hitting the crust underneath east, south, and west-facing slopes.
Friday afternoon will clear out, and Saturday will be sunny and dry.
The models are now in better agreement about the extended forecast.
One system will move through on Sunday with snow for most areas (more north, less south). This doesn't look like a big storm and accumulations will likely be under 6 inches.
After dry days on Monday and Tuesday, another storm similar to Sunday's system will hit on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Then the end of next week looks dry.
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