Colorado Daily Snow

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High-elevation snow showers, but no major storms in sight


The highest peaks above about 11,000 feet have seen snowflakes during this month's showers, and we should see a few more showers through the end of the week. Then the only stand-out weather factor will be gusty winds on Friday and Saturday, and after that, we'll likely stay drier and warmer through the end of September.


When you can see individual snowflakes on lower-resolution webcams, then you know these are big flakes!

That was the scene on Tuesday afternoon at the Rocky Mountain National Park Alpine Visitor's Center at 11,796 feet.

During the month of September, we have seen occasional snowfall and some snow accumulation, generally near and above 11,000 feet. This snowfall is normal for the higher elevations in September and should not be taken as a good or bad sign of how much snow we'll see during the upcoming winter.

On Wednesday and Thursday, there will be a few rain and snow showers, though there will be fewer showers compared to Tuesday.

On Friday into Saturday, a storm will cross Colorado. Most of the storm's energy and precipitation will stay to our north and west and most areas of Colorado will see little to no precipitation. However, most areas of Colorado will experience gusty winds of 25-50mph from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.

Then during the final full week of September and into early October, our weather should be mostly quiet with warmer-than-average temperatures and likely average to below-average precipitation.

The longer-range forecast models show the next storm moving into the western US late in September or early in October, so that will be the next system to watch. At this point, we are 10+ days away from this potential system entering the west coast, so forecast confidence is low. Also, most of the models show the storm's energy generally tracking west and north of Colorado (just like the upcoming storm on Sep 22-23), so I do not have high expectations for snowfall as we head into October. But things can and often do change with the 10+ day forecast…

Around the world, snow is falling, with South America continuing to see a somewhat active pattern.

Access the Powder Finder here.

El Nino

Below is a copy/paste from my previous post.

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:

Next post

I'll post about weekly in September and October, and then I will start daily coverage most likely in late October.

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

Upcoming Events

  • October 12 at the Westin Riverfront in Avon
  • November 9 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden


Geography Key

Northern Mountains
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

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