Beginning on Sunday, September 10, there will be a high chance for showers across many of Colorado's mountains, and any of these showers could produce snowflakes for the highest peaks above about 12,000 feet. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, El Nino will impact weather patterns across the globe, and here in Colorado there is a signal for above-average snowfall early and late in the season.
I hope that you had a lovely summer and are ready to chat about weather, snow, and powder days across our Colorado mountains. I will begin to post daily updates later in October, and between now and then, I will post updates when there are interesting happenings in the world of weather and chances for early-season snow.
High-elevation snow Sunday, September 10 - Sunday, September 17
Following a dry and sunny week (how glorious it's been these last few days!), we will see a change in the weather pattern beginning on Sunday, September 10.
Starting on Sunday, September 10th, and likely continuing through at least Sunday, September 17th, we will see chances for showers and thunderstorms each day across most of our mountains.
Within this seven-day stretch, there will be two windows of time that might offer higher chances for precipitation – one from September 10-12 and another more uncertain period from September 13-15. The first window could favor mountains near and east of the divide, though the take-home message is that most of Colorado will be transitioning from a dry weather pattern this week to a showery weather pattern next week.
Now that the calendar says "September", temperatures are cooling, and this generally means that any precipitation can fall as snow on our higher peaks.
Indeed, one of the highest-resolution global weather models, the European model, does show specs of snow accumulation over the highest peaks of Colorado and around the west during the next week.
The best chance for snow will be at mountain elevations near and above 12,000 feet. This is generally above the elevation of most ski areas, though the summits of some ski areas may get dusted with snow.
Any of the showers that are more intense will be able to push snow accumulations below 12,000 feet, maybe as low as about 11,000 feet.
While this upcoming showery snowfall will likely not fall into the category of a 'major storm', it'll be something to note if you're planning high-elevation adventures.
If you need a specific forecast for any location in Colorado (or around the world), simply tap on the map to see the forecast and you can then favorite that point to quickly check for forecast updates. We call this feature "Forecast Anywhere" and it is super useful when you're planning backcountry adventures to peaks, lakes, hunting expeditions, etc.
The upcoming season and El Nino
The central Pacific Ocean is much warmer than normal and this will influence weather patterns around the world. But here in Colorado, the impact of El Nino is not clear cut.
Looking at past winter seasons with El Nino, we see that snowfall winds up being close to average.
However, there is one notable trend, which is that there is often above-average snowfall during the early months and late months of the season (October, November, March, April) and below-average snowfall during the middle months of the season (December, January, February).
For more details about El Nino's impact on snowfall here in Colorado and at certain mountains, tap the links below:
- Colorado winter forecast
- Aspen winter forecast
- Copper Mountain winter forecast
- Steamboat winter forecast
- Telluride/Silverton winter forecast
- Vail winter forecast
- Winter Park winter forecast
- Wolf Creek winter forecast
Around the world
It's snowing a LOT in South America and we have it covered with our new South America Daily Snow.
Check out our Powder Finder map view to keep an eye on snowfall across the globe.
I'll post again in September and October when the weather warrants it, and then I will start daily coverage most likely in late October.
Thanks for reading!
- October 12 at the Westin Riverfront in Avon
- November 9 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden
Steamboat, 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