Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be dry, mostly sunny, and temperatures will be comfortable with highs in the 20s. Our next chance for snow will be from Sunday night through Monday night when mountains could see 3-6 inches with low-end powder possible on Monday. After that, there could be a storm around Feb 9-10, and then the week of Feb 13-17 could provide multiple chances for snow.
Short Term Forecast
Wednesday was mostly sunny across Colorado with clouds covering just the far northern mountains around Steamboat. On-mountain temperatures rose into the teens, and the higher sun angle now in early February is just starting to affect the snow on south-facing slopes.
On Wednesday night, the forecast was for dry weather, but I did a double-take now on Thursday morning when I saw 2 inches of fluffy snow on A-Basin's snow stake cam.
Where did that come from? Satellite images showed a low, thin cloud near the continental divide, and some combination of this moisture and just a bit of lift was able to produce this fluff over A-Basin with lesser totals nearby at Loveland and Keystone. Surprises like this are frustrating from a forecasting perspective and fun from a skiing perspective:-)
For Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I expect dry weather with high temperatures in the 20s each day. There could be times when high, thin clouds filter the sun or moon, especially Friday night into Saturday morning and Saturday night into Sunday morning. Otherwise, there will be nothing remarkable weatherwise and it'll be a lovely four-day stretch to enjoy our healthy snowpack with comfortable weather conditions.
Our next storm will arrive on Sunday night and should bring snow through Monday night. This storm will split as it moves across Colorado, much like our last storm one week ago. And like our last storm, this upcoming storm will also put the jet stream directly over Colorado for a time, and this jet stream placement will likely create a narrow band of more intense snow that moves from north to south from Sunday night through Monday evening.
The multi-model average total snowfall forecast is about 3-6 inches at the moment. This will likely change as the storm gets closer, so stay tuned. It's possible that snowfall could be higher if the narrow band of snow stalls over an area or is more intense, or if southwest and west-southwest winds to the south of this band produce more snow than expected for Crested Butte and the southern mountains (what happened last storm). And it's possible that snowfall could be lower if the storm splits earlier, before it traverses Colorado, and we're left with just the scraps.
The takeaway, for now, is that there should be low-end powder amounts on Monday, with the snow likely not being deep enough to cover a firmer base, but enough for fun turns on groomers or non-sunny slopes that have a soft base.
After the storm from Sunday night to Monday night, we'll look ahead to another chance for snow later next week, around February 9-10. There is zero agreement among the major forecast models about what this storm looks like, so I have low confidence in any details, but at least the 51-version European ensemble model (below) has increased the odds for measurable snow from about 20% yesterday to about 50% today, so this system bears watching.
Then for the following week, all longer-range models continue to point toward a stormy period for the western U.S. between about February 13-17. We can see this both in the graphic above and in the blue shading in the graphic below.
A forecast for storminess across the western U.S. from February 13-17 does not guarantee powder days here in Colorado, but it does increase the odds for significant snowfall, so we'll watch this period closely and will eventually begin to narrow down the forecast when the storms are within a 5-7 day window.
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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