Colorado Daily Snow

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Sunday storm update


On Saturday night, 1-3 inches of snow accumulated across the state. Snow showers will continue on Sunday, Sunday night, and Monday with an additional 2-4 inches of accumulation and up to 6-8 inches in favored or lucky areas. Then we will see dry weather on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with snow likely on Friday, November 24.

Short Term Forecast

The first snowfall from our current storm fell on Saturday night with 1-3 inches of accumulation, mostly across the northern and central mountains.

Northern Mountains

3” Vail
2” Beaver Creek
2” Breckenridge
2” Cameron Pass
2” Copper
2” Keystone
2” Loveland
2” Steamboat
2” Winter Park
1” Eldora

Central Mountains

4” Irwin
3” Aspen Mountain
3” Snowmass
2” Aspen Highlands
2” Powderhorn
1” Buttermilk

Southern Mountains

0-1" Multiple areas

About the most snow that I could find on a snow stake just before sunrise was at Snowmass.

The radar animation ending just before 6:00 am on Sunday morning shows a narrow band of snow showers over the central mountains and north toward I-70, so some of these mountains might sneak out another few inches early on Sunday morning.

Then from Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening, additional snow showers will move over Colorado, and we can see that these showers are currently over Utah as of early on Sunday morning.

As the storm moves across Colorado, a lot of its energy will track to our south, and the storm will also strengthen and reform to our east. This type of jumbled storm motion gives me lower-than-average confidence in the snow forecast, but this storm will push a lot of moisture across Colorado, which increases the odds of decent snow totals.

On Sunday, an average of three runs of our OpenSnow high-resolution model shows a few additional inches of snow (1-3") for all mountains with the best chance for 3-6 inches over the southern mountains. This makes sense since some of the storm's energy will track near or over the southern mountains. 

On Sunday night, the average of three runs of our OpenSnow high-resolution model shows a few more inches of snow (1-3") for most mountains as showers continue, though with the storm's energy splitting to the south and to the east, my expectations are pretty low. Something that could keep snow totals on the higher end (of this low range) is that the wind direction might stay a bit more from the northwest rather than the northeast, and a northwest wind direction is favorable for more mountains.

And on Monday, the average of three runs of our OpenSnow high-resolution model shows an additional 1-4 inches of snow for the northern mountains, near I-70 and near and east of the divide, thanks to wrap-around moisture as the storm heads to our east, and a favorable wind direction.

Something to keep in mind for Monday is that a few models show higher snowfall totals over the northeastern mountains with 3-6+ inches of accumulation. The temperature and wind direction will be mostly favorable for fluffy snow accumulations, so a bit of a high-side surprise is possible during the day on Monday especially near and east of the divide for places like Loveland, A-Basin, Winter Park and Berthoud Pass, and maybe too at some foothills southwest of Denver where a northeast wind direction could be locally more favorable for snow.

The summary of this storm is that it won't produce significant snow totals, but hopefully, most mountains will be in the 3-6 inch range, which should help deepen the base just a bit, and with some luck, perhaps we'll push toward the higher single digit amounts, with softer snow by the time late Sunday or Monday rolls around.

Extended Forecast

Following the storm, we will see dry weather on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with high temperatures in the 30s.

Then the next storm should bring snow from Thursday night through Friday and maybe into early Saturday. Early indications are for this to be another 'moderate' storm with decent but not significant snow totals. If the storm happens to form a bit farther to the west and is able to pull in more moisture from the Pacific Ocean, then perhaps we'll see some higher totals. At this point, my expectation is for low-end powder on Friday, along with colder temperatures in the teens from Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26.

After the storm around November 24-25, the end of November and the early part of December are trending drier with lower storm chances compared to what the longer-range models showed just yesterday. This could change, since we are talking about a 10+ day forecast, but for now, I don't see the chance for any significant storms later this month or in very early December. Bah! That's about all I can say about that.

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

Upcoming Events

Please join me at one of these community talks. I'll discuss the season ahead and new weather forecasting technology, as well as answer all of your questions as best as I can. I'll also hand out OpenSnow swag:-) Let's get excited for winter to return!

  • Thursday, November 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Denver Athletic Club in downtown Denver. More details soon!

  • Saturday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m. is the CAIC Benefit Bash. I am NOT presenting at this event, I just wanted to promote the event because it's a super fun night that supports the excellent work done by the CAIC. Buy tickets here.

  • Friday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Angry James Brewing in Silverthorne. Organized by and supporting the Keystone Ski Patrol.


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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, Snowmass, 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