Colorado Daily Snow

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By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 1 month ago February 23, 2024

Friday morning fluff, then three storms on tap

Summary

The snow showers on Thursday and Thursday night dropped 1-5 inches of snow across the northern and central mountains, so there will be some soft/fluffy snow to enjoy on Friday morning. Friday through Sunday will be dry and mostly sunny. Then we'll see a storm from February 26-27, another storm around March 3-4, and then another storm around March 8-9.

Short Term Forecast

Thursday

On Thursday and Thursday night, we expected random snow showers with a few inches of accumulation across the northern and central mountains. Based on snow stake cams, these showers produced the most snow during Thursday late afternoon and evening, and Friday morning totals were in the 1-5 inch range.

The snow that fell on Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening was fluffy, as we can see from the snow stake at Keystone early on Friday morning.

Friday

The fluffy new snow from Thursday night will be fresh and fun to ride on Friday morning. Lingering morning clouds should transition to mostly sunny skies, and the high temperature will be in the low-to-mid 20s.

Saturday & Sunday

Both Saturday and Sunday will be dry with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures of around 30°F.

Storm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

The overall forecast for the storm from Monday to Wednesday is still on track, and there are some subtle changes to the details of the forecast.

On Monday, snow should ramp up and there could be at least a few inches of powder by last chair.

Monday night through Tuesday afternoon now appears to the be time of the most intense snow, and Tuesday will likely be a powder day with a mix of intense snow, gusty winds in the morning, and snow maybe tapering off by later Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday night into Wednesday will be the tail end of the storm, and depending on the exact timing, we could see anything from 3-6+ inches on Tuesday night with untouched powder on Wednesday morning, or maybe just a few flakes with mostly tracked leftovers on Wednesday morning.

The multi-model average snow forecast continues to show significant accumulations for all mountains. My latest thinking is 8-14 inches across the northern mountains, 10-20 inches for most central and southern mountains, and 15-25+ inches for some of the mountains farthest to the west (the white-ish areas on the map below).

The latest forecast models are trending toward a storm that is a little faster and a bit weaker compared to 24 hours ago, so at this point, I think that Tuesday has the highest odds of being the deepest powder day, with lower odds for untracked snow on Wednesday morning. Also, with the storm moving in faster and a little weaker, the gusty winds that I was expecting on Tuesday may only be around very early in the day, with wind speeds slowing down throughout the day.

In terms of snow quality, temperatures will be warm on Monday, Monday night, and Tuesday morning, so the initial snowfall should be a little thicker and surfier, and then snowfall during most of Tuesday should be fluffier. 

Extended Forecast

Following the storm from Monday into Tuesday night, we will see dry weather from Wednesday, February 29 to Saturday, March 2.

The next storm should then arrive around Sunday, March 3, with snow maybe into Monday, March 4.

After that, the next storm should move through around Friday, March 8 to Saturday, March 9.

Description: The graphic above shows 51 versions of the European EPS ensemble model (top) on the y-axis (vertical) and 15 days from left to right on the x-axis (horizontal). Each colored rectangle shows a chance for precipitation, with grey equaling little precipitation, green equaling light precipitation, and blues and oranges showing significant precipitation. The more the colors are aligned vertically, the higher the confidence in the forecast.

The longer-range forecast models are all mostly aligned around the timing of these three storms, so this is a somewhat unusual situation where the general weather outlook for the next two weeks is pretty clear. Of course, the details may change, and I'll be watching for any shifts in the timing or strength of these upcoming systems.

My next update will be Saturday morning.

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

PS - Please consider attending the 2024 Invest in Kids Jane-A-Thon, the longest-running, true-to-Colorado ski and snowboard fundraising event is this Friday and Saturday (March 1 & 2) at Mary Jane.

This is the 25th year of the Jane-A-Thon and you can still create or join a team to raise money to help improve the health and well-being of Colorado's youngest children and families!

This year’s event will include skiing and boarding, on-mountain challenges, and apres ski parties on both days to celebrate and acknowledge contest winners. Whether you're joining with a corporate sponsor or gathering a group of friends, all skill levels can make an impact by raising money for kids in need.

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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
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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.

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