Thursday night's storm dropped 8-9 fluffy inches on a few northern mountains while most other areas saw little to no snow. Looking ahead, we're in for 7-10 days of mostly dry and warmer weather. Toward the end of November, there's about a 50/50 chance that snowfall will return.
Short Term Forecast
It's now Friday morning and the big news is the deep fluff that fell on Thursday night at just a few northern mountains.
We were looking at Eldora and Winter Park (and Steamboat as an outside chance) as the resorts that would get the most snow and that's what happened. However, the snow amounts were above the high side of the 3-7 inch forecast, likely because the snow was very fluffy and the snow ratios (how much snow is created from a given amount of liquid) were higher than expected.
Eldora received 9 inches.
Winter Park received 8 inches.
And Steamboat received 8 inches.
For the mountains above, and for backcountry areas near these mountains, there was a combination of just enough moisture, temperatures that created fluffy snow with high snow-to-liquid ratios, and the jet stream overhead produced just enough lift to efficiently convert the moisture into snow.
North of Steamboat, the Tower SNOTEL site showed 1 inch of liquid equivalent, and the most recent observation also showed that this 1 inch of liquid converted to 20 inches of snow. Snow depth at SNOTEL sites is not the most reliable measurement, but with high snow ratios, and the Tower site being a bit north of Steamboat where there was the potential for more snow, maybe 20 inches is possible. I'm sure a few of you will go find out:-)
Other mountains near I-70 saw about 1-2 inches of snow accumulation as of Friday at 7 am. Snow should continue for a few hours on Friday morning along I-70, so we could add another few inches to the snow totals.
Unfortunately, there is a high likelihood that we are heading into a dry period with little snowfall during the next 7-10 days.
Saturday and Sunday will be dry and warmer with high temperatures in the 20s.
Early next week will be dry and warmer still with high temperatures in the 30s.
Our next chance for light snow will be around Wednesday and Thursday, November 23-24. We could get anything from zero inches to maybe light snow totals if the storm happens to track closer to Colorado, but my expectations are VERY low.
Looking far ahead to the days after Thanksgiving, the main area of storminess should set up along the west coast and the Pacific Northwest and we will be on the edge.
About 50% of the 100+ model versions that make up the longer-range forecast models show that a storm or two will clip Colorado during the final few days of November while 50% of the model versions show that we'll stay dry during this time. Those aren't amazing odds, but hopefully, they'll trend toward the 'higher chance for snow' side as the forecast evolves.
Thanks for reading!
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!
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