Colorado Daily Snow

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Tuesday morning powder totals


On Monday night, the storm delivered 2-11 inches of new snow with the deepest totals in the central mountains and the western part of the northern mountains. On Tuesday, we'll see a few additional inches of snow through early afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday will be dry, then more snow will arrive on Friday with snow possible through early the following week.

Short Term Forecast

Monday was a mostly dry day, then on Monday night, the storm arrived on time and dropped intense snow on many mountains through Tuesday early morning.

Tuesday morning

Below are the snow totals through Tuesday at 500 am. The deepest totals are in the central mountains and the western part of the northern mountains, mostly in line with what we were expecting.

Northern Mountains

8" Steamboat
7" Beaver Creek
7" Rocky Mountain National Park
7" Vail
6" Cooper
4" Breckenridge
4" Copper
4" Eldora
3" Keystone
3" Loveland
3" Winter Park

Central Mountains

11" Crested Butte
9" Aspen Highlands
9" Snowmass
8" Aspen Mountain
7" Buttermilk
6" Sunlight
5" Powderhorn
3" Monarch

Southern Mountains

2" Purgatory
2" Telluride
2" Wolf Creek

The deepest official snow total is at Crested Butte with 11 inches on their snow stake cam.

Tuesday powder

On Tuesday morning, all of the snow I listed above will be untouched and the snow quality should be medium fluff as temperatures are reasonably cold but the storm came in with some wind which makes the snow quality a little thicker.

On Tuesday morning through mid-afternoon, there will be additional snow showers which should deliver 2-5 inches of snow on top of the totals from the morning. This additional snow will hit most mountains, then accumulations will become more random after about noon as moisture really wanes, which cuts down on the coverage of the snow showers.

Both the high-resolution OpenSnow and high-resolution CAIC models show roughly the same amount of snow from Tuesday's showers.

Tuesday's temperatures are cold, in the single digits, so dress warmly while enjoying the powder.

Wednesday & Thursday

Both Wednesday and Thursday will be dry and warmer with high temperatures in the 30s.

Extended Forecast

Our next chance for snow will start late Thursday night and continue through Friday evening. This storm will track to our west and we will NOT see a direct hit, but there will be enough moisture and storm energy to bring at least decent snow totals.

A very early look at the snow accumulation potential for Friday yields 2-6 inches.

There is a lot of variability in the forecast for Friday and I'll refrain from a deeper dive into the details until we get a day or two closer to the storm. At this point, my best estimate is that there will be some fresh snow to ride during the day on Friday, and the snow quality will be on the thicker side due to strong winds and relatively warm temperatures.

Beyond the Friday storm, we will see a few additional chances for snow through early December.

On Saturday and Sunday, winds from the southwest could bring snow showers to some mountains though I have low confidence in the details.

On Monday and Tuesday, a stronger and colder storm could bring significant snow to all mountains.

And on Wednesday, there could be lingering snow showers with more snow for the northern half of Colorado.

Putting all of this together means that potential powder days will be Friday, then some snow over the weekend for a few mountains, then more powder perhaps on Monday with a higher likelihood of powder on Tuesday, and then perhaps additional freshies on Wednesday. 

Following Wednesday, December 7, we should head into a drier weather pattern for at least a couple of 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