Colorado Daily Snow

Heads up, there may be fresher snow! Read the latest Colorado Daily Snow

By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 2 months ago December 4, 2023

List of total snowfall, and when we'll see the next storm

Summary

Sunday was a windy and snowy day across the northern mountains with 10+ inch snow totals for many spots and wind gusts of 50-70mph. Now on Monday morning, the storm is ending and statewide storm totals are between 7-30 inches. Coming up, we will have dry weather through Thursday, and then the next storm should bring moderate snow totals between Friday and Saturday.

Short Term Forecast

On Sunday, we expected intense snow and strong winds across the northern mountains with snow extending into the central mountains as well.

While the central mountains did not see as much additional snow as I expected, the northern mountains were walloped by wind and snow with up to 17 inches at Winter Park within 24 hours ending on Monday morning. The strong winds and intense snow closed some roads at times, including I-70 and US-40.

Below is the radar image as of Sunday at 10:30 am. It shows one of the narrow bands of intense snow that hit the northern mountains. While the radar has trouble detecting these bands of snow over the northern mountains because the mountains block the radar beam, we can see the band of snow extending the mountains, over the area near and east of the continental divide.

The most intense snow on Sunday fell at Eldora and Winter Park as each mountain picked up 12 inches of snow during the day. Below is the Winter Park mid-mountain snow stake from Sunday at 500 am to Monday at 500am, and it shows about 12 inches on Sunday with another 5 inches on Sunday night.

Storm total snowfall from Thursday through Monday morning looks like this, with each number to the right of the total showing the snowfall as of Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and Monday morning.

Northern Mountains

26” (2+6+1+17) Winter Park
24” (2+7+7+8) Steamboat via Snow Stake cam (officially 33” = 3+7+10+13)
23” (3+6+4+10) Copper
22” (5+5+3+9) Vail
21” (4+4+3+10) Breckenridge
20” (0+2+5+13) Eldora
15” (0+3+6+6) Keystone
14” (1+2+3+8) Loveland
12” (1+2+4+5) A-Basin
11” (3+3+1+4) Beaver Creek
11” (3+2+2+2) Cameron Pass
7” (1+1+1+4) Cooper

Central Mountains

30” (6+15+2+7) Irwin
23” (4+7+10+2) Monarch
20” (1+5+9+5) Crested Butte
11” (4+4+2+1) Aspen Highlands
11” (4+4+2+1) Aspen Mountain
11” (4+4+2+1) Buttermilk
11” (4+4+2+1) Snowmass
9” (3+5+1+0) Powderhorn

Southern Mountains

22” (6+14+1+1) Telluride
18” (8+4+2+4) Red Mountain Pass (low confidence)
17” (4+12+1+0) Wolf Creek
13” (2+7+4+0) Purgatory

Now on Monday morning, the storm is mostly over, though some snow showers are hanging around the northern and central mountains, and winds are still gusty near the divide. Monday's weather will be more of the same, with more sunshine and calmer winds for the southern half of the state, and more clouds and occasionally gusty winds for the northern and some central mountains. Temperatures will be in the 20s.

Riding conditions on Monday could be fun with hopefully more terrain opening thanks to the new snow (and wind) filling in the base.

For the middle of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be dry, sunny, and warmer with a high temperature in the 30s to low 40s.

Extended Forecast

The next storm will bring snow from Friday into Saturday. I'll stick with my early estimate of 4-8 inches of snowfall, and this snow should be focused on the northern and central mountains, with some snow east of the divide as well.

This storm will move through quickly and have cold temperatures and limited moisture starting on Friday night, so I do NOT think that we will see many/any upside surprises. The softest riding conditions could be on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning across the northern and central mountains.

Following the Friday/Saturday storm, the northern mountains might be brushed by snow showers from Sunday, December 10 through Monday, December 11, and perhaps extending to Tuesday, December 12. 

After that, we should see mostly dry weather for the next few days, with a storm possible late in the 15-day forecast window, maybe around December 18.

Our statewide snowpack is closer to the median, maybe around 85% +/- (we'll wait for final storm numbers tomorrow), and the upcoming forecast makes me think that we'll stay below the median for the foreseeable future. That said, there should be a decent amount of inbounds terrain opening this week, and if you're heading into the backcountry, be sure to check the avalanche forecast as the avalanche risk has increased due to the recent snow and gusty winds.

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

Upcoming Events

Please join me at my last community talk of this early season. I'll discuss the season ahead and new weather forecasting technology and answer all of your questions as best as possible. I'll also hand out OpenSnow swag:-) Let's get excited for winter to return!

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

Announcements

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

Feature highlight of the week: Create Custom Snow Alerts

Stay up-to-date and never miss another powder day with custom snow reports and forecast alerts for your favorite ski resorts.

  1. Go to any ski resort screen.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper right.
  3. Tap "Add Alert".
  4. Set your 24-hour snow report and/or forecast threshold.

You can also go to Settings > Notifications > Report & Forecast Alerts in the OpenSnow app to edit any snow alert that you have already created.

Get Started → Add Snow Alerts

About Our Forecaster

Joel Gratz

Founding Meteorologist

Joel Gratz is the Founding Meteorologist of OpenSnow and has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2003. Before moving to Colorado, he spent his childhood as a (not very fast) ski racer in eastern Pennsylvania.

Free OpenSnow App