Colorado Daily Snow
By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 2 months ago December 11, 2023
On Sunday night into Monday morning, the northern mountains picked up 1-3 inches of snow, and their snowpack is at about 80-100% of average. The next storm from Tuesday to Thursday should focus on the southern mountains with 3-8 inches as the most likely scenario, though this could change. After that, we'll wait until around or after December 21st for the next storm.
Short Term Forecast
On Sunday night into Monday morning, additional moisture and storm energy clipped the northern mountains and dropped 1-3 inches of snow.
3” Cameron Pass
2” Winter Park
The highest resort totals were at Breckenridge and Steamboat. Of course, three inches is not a deep total, but every inch helps us to build the base, and every inch is important as we look ahead to a drier stretch of weather for the next ~10 days.
Monday will be dry for most mountains, though the northern mountains may see a few snowflakes and lingering clouds.
Our next storm will bring snow on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, focusing on the southern mountains.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, snow showers could drop light accumulations on all mountains as moisture and storm energy moves from south to north across Colorado.
Then from later Wednesday to early Thursday, the storm will track just south of Colorado, and we'll likely see a period of moderate or even intense snow for the southern mountains and perhaps areas east of the divide, roughly in the foothills just west of I-25 from Colorado Springs southward to New Mexico.
An early look at potential snow accumulations through Thursday shows a bullseye over the southern mountains. It is too soon to lock this in, but it is worth watching later Wednesday and especially Thursday morning for potential powder across the southern mountains, with a focus on Purgatory, Wolf Creek, and Cuchara (even though the map below doesn't show the deepest totals in those spots).
The Tuesday to Thursday storm will be cut off from the main west-to-east flow of weather and will wobble around a bit. Since forecasts for cut-off storms are usually less accurate than other storms, we will keep a close eye on this storm as the forecast is likely to change throughout the week.
Beyond the likely snow from Tuesday to Thursday, we will see drier and warmer weather from about Friday, December 15 to Wednesday, December 20. Then, starting around December 21st, the weather pattern should become stormier over the west coast, and maybe, eventually, that storminess will translate east into the Rockies and Colorado.
Looking at the map for December 14-20, we can see storminess to the west of California with dry weather over the Rockies.
Then looking out to the days around Christmas, we can see that the storminess west of California is likely to move toward or over the west coast, and eventually, this storminess may reach into the Rockies and to us here in Colorado.
The summary of the longer-range forecast is that it'll be dry from about December 15-20, and then we'll have a chance for storms during the final 10 days of December, though meaningful snow may wait to arrive until about the final five days of December, starting around or after Christmas.
We should be able to hold on to our snowpack between now and then due to the low sun angle, and let's hope that the final 5-7-ish days of December delivers more natural snow.
Thanks for reading!
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: Download Offline Trail Maps
Before losing service on the mountain, add ski resort trail maps to your Favorites screen in the OpenSnow app and download them to view offline.
- Go to Favorites > Trail Maps > Add Trail Maps
- Search for the ski resort and select the trail map
- Go back to Favorites > Trail Maps
- Tap the cloud icon in the lower right
- Blue Cloud Icon = Available Offline
You can also go to Settings > Your Favorites > Trail Maps in the OpenSnow app to edit and/or view any trail map that you have already favorited.
Favorites → Trail Maps