On Monday the northern mountains saw snow showers with a coating to 4 inches of accumulation. Now we'll transition to dry weather on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then the next storm will bring snow from Thursday night to Sunday morning. Snow totals from the next storm could be moderate for most mountains and get into the double digits for a few mountains.
Short Term Forecast
On Monday, the weekend storm was already well to the east of Colorado, and we were expecting that some northern and eastern mountains would see additional snow showers during the day due to lingering moisture and storm energy.
That is what happened, with a coating to about 4 inches of additional accumulation, and the highest accumulation fell at Keystone and Vail's Blue Sky Basin (closed), which were locations where I was not expecting to see the higher totals as both areas are farther to the west compared to where the most snow was forecast. The uncertainties of northwest flow strike again!
This is the time of the season when the sun angle is low enough that any north-ish facing slopes will easily hold any snow that falls, so even a few inches of 'extra' snow is useful.
Tuesday will begin a three-day period of dry weather.
On Tuesday morning, our weekend storm is well to the east of us as it brings rain to the east coast.
On Tuesday morning, many mountains will wake up to low clouds, which we can see in this pre-dawn satellite image, though these clouds should dissipate in the morning, yielding a mostly sunny day with temperatures rising into the upper 20s to low-30s.
Wednesday and Thursday will also be dry and temperatures will warm into the mid-30s on both days. Wednesday will be the sunnier of the two days, with Thursday bringing more high, thin clouds filtering the sunshine.
The next storm will bring snow from Thursday night to Sunday morning. There is still uncertainty about exactly how the storm will track, though I'd pencil in the chance for decent snow totals and maybe some powder on Friday and Saturday.
The average of many forecast models shows that this storm will bring a period of winds from the east and the south on Friday, which should favor the eastern and southern mountains, and then the winds will switch to blow from the west or even northwest on Saturday, which could favor more central and northern mountains.
The multi-model average snow forecast shows 3-6 or 4-8 inches for many mountains, with a chance for 10+ inches across the southern mountains and potentially some mountain ranges with no ski areas, which would be favored by winds from the south or southwest earlier in the storm.
This storm will likely not produce significant snowfall for all mountains, but a few spots could see double-digits, which would deepen the base and allow for (much) more terrain to open by the weekend, especially across the southern mountains. I think we'll be able to have a little more confidence in the forecast by Wednesday morning.
The longer-range forecast looks...meh.
Following the storm on Friday and Saturday, we'll see dry weather from November 26 to at least November 30. The good news during this dry weather is that at least temperatures will be chilly with highs in the teens and 20s, so snow will stick around and snowmaking will be possible.
The next chance for natural snow will likely be during the first five days of December. The weather pattern will not be favorable for storms during this early part of December, but some versions of some models show that a system could sneak in from the southwest or west.
Below, multiple versions of the Europen model (first image) and the American GFS model (second image) show a 30-50% chance for a decent storm during the first few days of December. These are not high odds, but they are also not zero odds.
So you're telling me that there's at least a chance for a storm in the longer-range outlook? Yes, that's the forecast:-)
Thanks for reading!
P.lease 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
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, Snowmass, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains
Feature highlight of the week:
Track incoming storms with live and forecast radar in the OpenSnow app.
1) Tap the "Maps" tab.
2) Tap the overlay button.
3) Tap "Radar" or "Forecast Radar".
4) Scrub the bottom slider.
The live "Radar" is updated every 8 minutes to help you track ongoing precipitation for the past 2 hours, while the "Forecast Radar" is updated every hour to help you track forecasted precipitation for the next 2 days.
View → OpenSnow.com/map