Colorado Daily Snow

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Thursday morning powder, then a storm next week


The storm on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night dropped 2-8 inches of snow on most mountains with 12-16 inches in far southern and western areas. Now on Thursday, most of the remaining snow will fall over the southeastern mountains. Looking ahead, Friday through Sunday will be mostly dry with a few showers, then a strong storm could bring snow during most days next week.

Short Term Forecast

Wednesday was warm with a couple of inches of snow accumulation at mountains far to the west, with Powderhorn (farthest to the west) receiving about 7 inches during the day.

Wednesday night is when the strongest storm energy moved across Colorado and most mountains received decent snow totals in the 2-8 inch range. The deepest storm totals of 12-16 inches fell far to the west and to the south at Irwin, Powderhorn, Purgatory, and Wolf Creek.

Below are the snow totals from Wednesday 5:00 a.m. to Thursday 5:00 a.m.

Northern Mountains

6” Steamboat (11” Summit)
6” Winter Park
5” Beaver Creek
4” Copper
4” Vail
3” A-Basin
3” Keystone

Central Mountains

17” Powderhorn
12” Irwin
8” Aspen Highlands
8” Crested Butte
8” Snowmass
5” Aspen Mountain
5” Monarch
4” Buttermilk
4” Sunlight

Southern Mountains

16” Purgatory
13” Wolf Creek
9” Silverton
9” Telluride

Temperatures on Wednesday and Wednesday night were warm, in the 20s, so the snow quality of this new powder will likely be somewhat denser.

Now on Thursday, the storm is shifting to the south and east. We can see on Thursday morning's radar animation that most of the snow in Colorado is over the eastern and southeastern mountains.

Thursday's snow forecast shifted farther to the south and east compared to earlier model predictions and so most mountains will see little to no snow on Thursday and significant snow should fall only in the southeastern mountains around Cuchara, Wolf Creek, southward into northern New Mexico. It's also possible that Monarch and other south-central mountains near the divide could see some snow.

On Thursday night, the storm will continue to move to the east and most of the snow will stay over the far southeastern mountains as some storm energy lingers and a wind from the northeast keeps the flakes flying.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should be mainly dry for most mountains though I cannot rule out a few snow showers each day, especially over the southern mountains and for areas near and east of the divide. Temperatures will be cool with highs in the upper teens to low 20s, though the high sun angle of late March will likely make it feel warmer than what we'd expect based on the temperature readings.

Extended Forecast

Next week, we're going to see another storm with significant snow across all mountains of Colorado. 

During the first part of next week, from about Monday, March 20 to Wednesday, March 22, a wind direction from the southwest should bring the most snow to the southern mountains and the west-central mountains, as we can see on this multi-model average precipitation forecast.

Then during the second part of next week, from about late Wednesday, March 22 to Friday, March 24, it's likely that the storm will move to our east, the wind direction will switch and blow from the west or northwest, and this should shift the focus for the most snow to the central and northern mountains with possible later-week powder over the northern half of Colorado.

Far into the future, the final five-ish days of March could deliver two additional storms, maybe around March 26-27 and again around March 29-31.

At some point this spring, the atmosphere will stop bringing snow, but we have not yet reached that point:-)

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz


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