Colorado Daily Snow

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Tuesday powder, then stormy in early December


Following dry weather on Monday morning, the next storm will bring snow from Monday afternoon or evening through Tuesday afternoon and most mountains will enjoy a powder day on Tuesday with 5-10+ inches of new snow. Then Wednesday and Thursday will be dry, with another storm likely on Friday into Saturday and yet another storm around December 4-6.

Short Term Forecast

Sunday morning was fun and about what we expected with 2-5 inches of fluffy new snow. Of course, this amount of new snow did not make Sunday a deep powder day, but many mountains are still quiet now during the early season, and it's a treat to enjoy some untouched fluff to end the weekend. Also, for five-year-old legs, a few inches of powder can be just the right amount.

In the northern and central mountains, Sunday morning's snow added about an inch on top of what fell on Saturday night, then the rest of Sunday was drier.


Today on Monday we'll start with dry weather, then snow could begin later in the afternoon for the mountains near and especially north of I-70.

Storm Monday Night & Tuesday

The most snow will fall from Monday night through Tuesday midday, then we'll see scattered snow showers and maybe breaks of sunshine later on Tuesday afternoon.

Snow amounts are still looking solid with 5-10 inches as an average for most mountains and maybe 8-14 inches for some central and western mountains.

The high-resolution CAIC snow forecast model (first image) and the high-resolution OpenSnow forecast model (second image) are in near agreement, and since these models are based on somewhat different data, this alignment increases our confidence in the forecast.

The best powder will likely be during the first half of the day on Tuesday as 50-70% of the storm's snowfall should fall by Tuesday morning with a lot of the rest of the snow falling by Tuesday midday. Once we get to Tuesday afternoon, the temperature will be very cold in the single digits and moisture will rapidly decrease which should limit additional snow accumulations with more scattered snow showers.

Extended Forecast

Following the storm on Monday night and Tuesday, there will be dry weather on Wednesday and Thursday.

Then we will see two chances for storms during early December.

The first possible storm will bring snow from Friday, December 2 through Saturday, December 3. The brunt of the snow from this storm could stay to our west, but we should still see decent accumulations with powder possible during the day on Friday and/or Saturday morning. The snow quality could be thicker due to warmer temperatures and fast winds.

The second possible storm will bring snow from Sunday, December 4 through Tuesday, December 6. It'll be a few more days until we can figure out the details of this system, though I think there is a pretty good chance for powder during at least one of these days.


Following the possible storm around December 4-6, we should see a break in the weather for a couple of days. Then looking ahead to the time period around December 8-12, the longer-range models hint that the storminess could set up along the west coast, but I am not certain what that could mean for us, which is anything from dry weather to some snow crossing the Rockies every few days.

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz


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
      - Register here
      - 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.

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

You can learn more about Forecast Anywhere in this short how-to article.

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