Colorado Daily Snow

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It just keeps on snowing

Summary

Saturday brought light snow to the central and northern mountains. Sunday will be dry. Then Monday through Thursday will bring snow to most mountains at various times with powder possible each day – it'll be a complex storm and I have the details below. Then there should be another storm around December 10-11, with more chances for snow during mid-December. This is a great weather pattern.

Short Term Forecast

Saturday Recap

Saturday started dry, then light-to-moderate snow moved from the southern mountains to the central mountains and the northern mountains throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.

Total snow on Saturday and Saturday evening was 2-5 inches for the central and northern mountains with the deeper snow totals around Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper. 

Sunday

Conditions will be soft thanks to snow from the previous days. However, most of the snow on Saturday fell during the day on Saturday with just a little bit on Saturday evening, so there likely won't be a lot of untouched powder on Sunday unless new terrain is opened.

Otherwise, on Sunday, expect mostly dry weather and mostly cloudy skies with warm-ish temperatures of around 30 degrees.

Monday - Thursday

There will be multiple storms that impact different areas of Colorado. It'll be a complex situation and I'll do my best to break it down.

Monday

The first part of the storm will likely focus snow on mountains north of I-70. Steamboat and Cameron Pass could be in a favorable position for snow throughout the day.

Tuesday

For mountains north of I-70, snow will continue and Tuesday morning could be a fun powder day with 6-12+ inches of snow from Monday and Monday night.

For mountains near or along I-70 and the central mountains, a narrow band of intense snow should develop at some point on Monday night or Tuesday and bring possible powder (4-8+ inches) throughout Tuesday.

During this time, from late Monday through late Tuesday, the snow will be created by a combination of a lot of moisture, the jet stream overhead, a cold front that stalls somewhere just north of I-70, and a convergence of winds along the cold that is somewhere just north of I-70. This is a complex series of factors that leads to a tough forecast. The jet stream can create a narrow band of intense snow, and also, an area just north of the stalled cold front could be another focus for a narrow band of intense snow. Keep your eye on Tuesday-ish for possible very deep totals if one or more of these factors really kicks the atmosphere into snow-producing mode.

Wednesday

Wednesday during the day will be a transition day with less snow over the northern and central mountains and snow ramping up for the southern mountains. There could be powder on Wednesday in the southern mountains.

Then Wednesday at night could bring snow to all mountains as the main storm energy crosses Colorado.

Thursday

Thursday will be the final possible powder day of the week. The south-central mountains could be deep with more than a foot of snow. The central and northern mountains could also be deep (or at least soft) thanks to the snow that fell on Monday into Tuesday and additional snow that will fall later Wednesday night into Thursday.

Total Snowfall

The map below is the best I could do to explain what might happen this week. The punchline is that all mountains will see snow with likely at least 5-10 inches, and if all the weather factors come together perfectly, some spots could see more than 20 inches.

Extended Forecast

Friday should bring a break in the weather.

Then the next storm will likely deliver snow during the weekend of December 10-11. 

After that, another storm is possible around December 14.

And then the weather pattern during the middle of December should continue to be active though I have low confidence in the details.

Overall this is a good-news forecast if you like snow:-)

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

PS - Below, I added details about my two community talks next week.

Announcements

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!

    • Wed, Dec 7. Silverthorne (The Pad, 491 Rainbow Dr)
      - 600pm Doors Open
      - 630pm Presentation by Joel Gratz
      - Buy tickets here. The entire $10 ticket cost will be donated to the local non-profit FIRC.

    • Fri, Dec 9. Basalt (Bristlecone Mountain Sports)
      - 700pm Doors Open & Refreshments
      - 730pm Presentation by Joel Gratz
      - Register here
      - Proceeds benefit Roaring Fork Conservancy
      UPDATE: Tickets sold out, but there is a waitlist.

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