Tuesday was a powder day for most northern and central mountains with 6-12 inches of new snow. Then on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, the southern mountains got in on the action with 6-12+ inches. On Wednesday, snow will favor the southern mountains, then on Wednesday night, snow will fall on all mountains. And more storms are in the forecast for Friday night and early next week.
Short Term Forecast
Tuesday was a powder day across the northern and central mountains thanks to a narrow band of intense snow that slowly moved from north to south through the morning. Snow totals were generally in the 8-12 inch range with fun quality powder throughout Tuesday morning into Tuesday midday.
Below is the snow stake cam at Snowmass showing about 12 inches of accumulation.
On Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night, the focus of the snow moved to the southern mountains as the wind direction switched to blow from the southwest. This is a good wind direction for Purgatory, Silverton, and Wolf Creek.
Now on Wednesday morning, Purgatory is reporting 9 inches, and SNOTEL sites around Wolf Creek show 12+ inches of accumulation so Wednesday will be a powder day across the south.
On Wednesday, expect continued snow in the southern mountains with another 4-10+ inches of accumulations. For other mountains, there might be some showers and light accumulations.
On Wednesday night, the storm will move across Colorado and bring snow to all mountains. Snowfall on Wednesday night should range from 2-7 inches with the deeper totals in the southern mountains, the farther western mountains favored by winds from the west-southwest and west (Crested Butte, Powderhorn, Sunlight, Aspen, Beaver Creek, Steamboat), and we could also sneak out a few additional inches for the higher mountains near the divide around A-Basin, Copper, Breckenridge, Loveland, and Winter Park which can sometimes do well in a strong west flow.
The snow forecast map below is for Wednesday night and I only have medium confidence in these totals.
Thursday morning will be soft and powdery thanks to the snow from Wednesday night and snow showers that continue through Thursday midday in the northern and central mountains.
Friday will be dry to start, then from late Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, a weak storm should bring light snow to the northern and central mountains and there could be a few inches of fresh snow by Saturday morning.
Saturday and Sunday should be dry.
Then a strengthening storm will move across Colorado from Monday into Tuesday (December 12-13) and this storm should bring a lot of snow to most mountains.
It's too soon to figure out the details of how much snow and where it will fall since we do not yet have high confidence in the storm's exact track. For now, we'll go with Monday being a stormy day and some powder possible through Tuesday.
And after that...well, there could be anything from more storms to a break in the action as high pressure builds over the west. We'll see how the longer-range forecasts shake out in the coming days.
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!
- 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.
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