Thanks for reading this season, and best wishes for a wonderful spring, summer, and fall! In this post I wrap up the season's snowpack, offer ways OpenSnow will be helpful during your summer adventures, and preview next winter.
Mountains will continue to spin lifts through May and even into June, and backcountry skiing will be open for many weeks and months to come, though with the spring weather turning calm(er), this will be my last update of the season.
The 2022-2023 season will be one that I'll likely never forget. So much snow to forecast. So much snow to ride. No lengthy dry periods.
Most areas of the state had an average to deeper-than-average snowpack for the entire season, from November through April, and our immediate neighbor to the west (Utah) saw record snowfall with 900 inches at Alta.
I am thankful that were able to experience and enjoy the flakes that fell this winter, as most winters are not like this one.
The following chart sums it all up. The black line, which shows this season's snowpack, was near or above the ~30-year median for the entire season, and it never flatlined, which would show an extended period of dry weather.
This chart is for all ~100 SNOTEL (backcountry weather) stations across Colorado, and individual results will vary of course.
It wasn't just Colorado that had a lot of snow this season. By early April 2023, nearly the entire western United States had a snowpack that was at least near average, with some areas measuring 200-300% of average.
The data that we see on the chart and map above may not be repeated for a while, and for some areas of the western United States, the snow that we saw this season might be a once-in-a-generation event. Again, we were fortunate to have experienced it.
Stick with OpenSnow this summer
Here is a little secret that we haven't mentioned before – in early summer 2023, we are bringing the functionality of OpenSummit into OpenSnow.
The OpenSummit app and website will continue to exist for a while, but all of the functionality will now be available in OpenSnow.
In reality, this will mean only two substantive additions to OpenSnow – a new hourly weather forecast view and the ability to flip between a 'Winter' and 'Summer' favorites list.
Otherwise, OpenSnow already has all the features you need to adventure this summer, and you can use just one app, OpenSnow, to get the weather data you want all year.
In the spring, summer, and fall, I think that the most useful features are:
- Forecast for your Current Location
Just like 'other' weather apps. Hit the "Weather" tab on your "Favorites" screen and you'll see the current temperature and wind speed at your location. Tap on that to view the forecast.
- Forecasts Anywhere on Earth
Just tap on the map then save your point. Great for camping, remote hikes, etc.
- Live & Forecast Radar
Be done with your activity before the storm.
- Air Quality & Wildfire Smoke Forecast Maps
Hopefully, we don't have to use these maps very often, but when we do need them, the forecast accuracy is quite good, especially for 1-2 days into the future.
- Current Air Quality Map
Hopefully, we don't have to use these maps very often, but when we do need them, seeing real-time Air Quality helps to know if outdoor activities are a good idea right now.
- Hourly Lightning Forecasts
Lightning cannot be forecast accurately, but we do know the general times and locations when it is possible. Don't get caught above the treeline during a storm!
- Offline maps for satellite & terrain
Heading off the grid? Download maps to take with you. My favorite is the satellite map with elevation contour lines. A few taps and you'll be able to access the maps without an internet signal.
Also, remember that your OpenSnow All-Access subscription (list of all features) is good for 365 days and all of the features above are included with your subscription.
In short, OpenSnow is a useful way to track the freeze/thaw cycle for corn snow and peak-bagging this spring, avoid lightning and wildfire smoke this summer, and escape to the desert next fall. All in one app:-)
Find powder across the globe this 'summer'
If your 'summer' pursuits take you to a snowy spot, you can use OpenSnow to track powder across the globe.
Our forecasts work on any land area on Earth for 365 days a year, and you can quickly see where it's snowing with our Powder Finder.
The map below is set to "Next 10 Days" of snowfall and in the "Customize" button I selected the "Global" region and location types as "All". Here is a direct link to the map: https://opensnow.com/explore/powder/map?compare=-snow-forecast-10d
Next Winter (2023-2024)
El Nino is coming.
No, not Chris Farley. This El Nino:
There is an 80-90% chance for an El Nino during the winter of 2023-2024. This means that ocean water temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean will be warmer than average, and these warmer waters change thunderstorm patterns over the tropics, which changes storm tracks around the world.
I have low to no confidence in any snow forecast 3-12 months into the future. Maybe in the fall we'll look at historical El Ninos during the winter months and see what happened here in Colorado. But I'll say that there is not a strong correlation between El Nino and snowfall across a lot of our mountains, so don't let your emotions swings too high or too low on this news of El Nino.
Wrapping it up
Writing snow forecasts and helping to run the business and feature sets of OpenSnow is my dream job. There is nothing else I would rather do, and our team is working on incredible things for the months and years ahead.
I am so happy that we have earned your support, and we will continue to work hard to earn your support for decades to come.
The work on OpenSnow does not 'stop' in the summer as we continue to update our systems and technology, though I will be sleeping in a little later during the coming months:-)
Thanks for reading the Colorado Daily Snow this season, and I hope that you have a wonderful spring, summer, and fall!
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