Colorado Daily Snow

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A few mountains in line for snow on Thursday night


On Thursday into Friday, a storm will bring snow to far northeastern Colorado with 1-7 inches near and especially east of the divide. For other areas of the state, we'll end the week with dry and continued chilly weather. This weekend and early next week will be warmer and still dry, then we'll see a cool down and maybe a few flakes around Thanksgiving.

Short Term Forecast

Wednesday was a mixed day with sunshine across central and southern Colorado and lingering clouds and flurries across the northern mountains.

Now on Thursday morning, we are watching a thin stripe of snow that is draped from northwest to southeast over Wyoming and extreme northeastern Colorado. You can see this stripe of snow on Thursday morning's radar.

On Thursday, this thin band of snow will stay north of I-70 and near and east of the northern divide and the front range foothills.

On Thursday night into Friday morning, the thin band of snow will sag south a bit and bring more snow to areas near I-70.

Following a day of consternation amongst the forecast models, there is finally decent agreement about how much snow we'll expect on Thursday night into Friday.

Our high-resolution OpenSnow model shows 3-7 inches mostly near and east of the divide and north of I-70 with barely any snow reaching the mountains near I-70.

The high-resolution CAIC model also shows 3-7 inches mostly near and east of the divide and north of I-70 with barely any snow reaching the mountains near I-70.

And a mashup of many models also shows 3-7 inches mostly near and east of the divide and north of I-70 AND that some snow will reach the mountains near I-70 with just light accumulations.

What this means is that for Friday morning, most ski areas will see little snow, with Eldora having the best chance of any ski area to get at least a few inches of accumulation. Backcountry areas of the front range near and east of the divide and north of I-70 will have the best chance for 6+ inches of fluffy accumulation. If the storm track sags south just a hair, Steamboat, Winter Park, and some of the I-70 mountains could see a few more inches of accumulation into Friday mid-morning, but this is somewhat of an outlier forecast.

Extended Forecast

Following chilly weather on Friday with highs in the teens and some snow across northern Colorado, Saturday and Sunday will be sunny and warmer with highs in the 20s, then next Monday and Tuesday will be sunny and warmer still with highs in the 30s.

Our next chance for cooler weather and a few snowflakes will be around Wednesday, November 23 to Thursday, November 24. At this point, my expectations for snowfall are very low, but perhaps we'll squeak out a few inches if the atmospheric flow comes together perfectly.

Then, after Thanksgiving, from Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27, we should see dry and perhaps warm weather.

During the following week, from November 28 through December 2, there's a decent chance that storminess in the Pacific Northwest will push east and bring snow to us here in Colorado. This is still 10+ days away, so it's on the edge of being able to say anything with even a shred of confidence, but we'll keep an eye on it.

The current cold weather has allowed for snowmaking and limited additional terrain is slowing opening across Colorado (exception: Wolf Creek is 90% open). For a lot more inbounds terrain to open, we'll need another significant storm or two, and the chances of a significant storm or two during the final 14 days of November is pretty low. Maybe the atmosphere will throw us a curveball…

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

PS - I just took this survey about "Sliding With Respect" and it would be wonderful if you could contribute your thoughts as well. The survey is being run by a group at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Take the survey.

PPS - I have two more in-person talks planned for early December. I hope to see you there, and maybe significant snow will return by these dates;-)


Upcoming In-Person Presentations

Join me for in-person presentations this fall. These talks are fun (yes, powder science IS fun:-), and I'll discuss thoughts about the upcoming season and snow forecasting tips and tricks. Also, your attendance at many of these talks supports a local non-profit, so thank you for coming!

    • Tue, Dec 6. Summit County
      - Presentation in the evening
      - More details soon!

    • Fri, Dec 9. Basalt (Bristlecone Mountain Sports)
      - 700pm Doors Open & Refreshments
      - 730pm Presentation by Joel Gratz
      - Registration opens on Nov 18
      - Proceeds benefit Roaring Fork Conservancy

New Feature: Forecast Anywhere

You can now get a forecast for any location (on land) across the globe, and you can save any of these "Custom Locations" as a favorite. 

Any "Custom Location" comes with estimated 24-hour snowfall. This means that you can set a "Custom Location" for your favorite backcountry spot and get estimated snowfall and estimated snowfall history. Since most backcountry areas do not have snow measurement equipment located at that exact spot, this feature will be a useful way to get a general estimate of how much snow has fallen.

To set your first "Custom Location", make sure that you are using the latest version of our iOS or Android apps (this works on our website, too!), then go to the Map tab, tap any spot on the map, and you're on the way to creating your first "Custom Location". You can learn more about Forecast Anywhere in this short how-to article.

Being able to get the forecast and save points as "Custom Locations" means that you can use our forecast data for any place you'd like to go - for backcountry skiing, camping, or even to see how much we think it'll snow in your backyard :-) And remember that "Custom Locations" works worldwide, so if you're traveling to a spot on the globe where we don't have a resort-based forecast (we have forecasts for many spots outside the US), go ahead and set up a "Custom Location".

And the last note is that "Custom Locations" are private and no other OpenSnow users will be able to see the "Custom Locations" that you create.

Please check out this new feature and let us know what you think

Geography Key

Northern Mountains
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

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