Colorado Daily Snow

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

By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 19 days ago April 1, 2024

Snow on Monday evening, next storm on Saturday, and a snowpack update

Summary

The most recent storm dropped 1-6 inches of snow on Sunday afternoon and Sunday night, and we'll see another 1-6 inches on Monday afternoon and Monday night. Tuesday through Friday will be dry, sunny, and warm, and then the next storm will bring snow on Saturday, April 6. Also, our statewide snowpack is 107% of the median, which is great news as we head into April.

Short Term Forecast

Sunday

Sunday was mostly dry during the first half of the day, and then somewhat disorganized storm energy created snow during Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. 

The snow totals as of Monday morning range from 1-4 inches across the northern and central mountains, with 2-6 inches across the southern mountains. Most of this snow fell after 3 pm on Sunday and will be untouched on Monday morning.

Monday

Monday will offer some untracked snow in the morning, and the first half of the day will be mostly dry and partly sunny with a temperature in the 20s.

On Monday afternoon and Monday evening, snow showers will pop up and last through about midnight.

For most mountains, snow accumulations will be minimal at just a dusting to an inch or two. 

Near and east of the divide, we'll have a higher chance for 2-6 inches of accumulation, and we might even push closer to double digits in the southeastern mountains near Cuchara.

The multi-model average snowfall map below shows this potential snow. The caveat is that the showers on Monday afternoon and evening will be driven by convection (warmer air rising, like summertime thunderstorms), and this process is difficult to forecast and can lead to upside and downside surprises.

Whatever snow falls on Monday evening will be untouched on Tuesday morning, and Tuesday morning will be the last chance for fresh snow for the rest of the week.

Snowpack

As of April 1, our statewide snowpack is at 107% of the median. The snowpack typically reaches its maximum depth about one week into April, and with the warm weather coming up later this week, the snowpack around March 31 to April 1 may be about the deepest that we'll see this season.

Across the west, the percent of median snowpack has a typical El Nino pattern with higher numbers to the south and lower numbers to the north. We are fortunate to be in the 'higher number' region.

Extended Forecast

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will be mostly sunny and warm. The high temperature will be in the 30s on Tuesday and in the 40s on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It'll be full-on spring conditions for most of the week with a crunchy surface in the morning, transitioning to corn and then some slush by midday and afternoon.

The next storm will bring snow on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7. There is a chance for some powder for all mountains on Saturday, and then snow on Saturday night through Sunday may be focused across areas near and north of I-70. This storm will be pretty strong, but moisture will be limited, and that should limit our snow totals, maybe to the single digits for most areas.

After that, we could see another storm from Tuesday, April 9 to Wednesday, April 10. The latest forecast models track this storm farther to the south, so only some of our southern and eastern mountains may see significant snow.

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.

After the storm around April 9-10, there is a low-to-medium chance for the next storm around April 13-15, with a general trend toward warming between these systems.

My next update will be Tuesday morning.

Thanks for reading!

Joel Gratz

Announcements

NEW: Snow Ratio Forecast

You can now get a good idea of the upcoming snow quality for the next storm via our new "Snow Ratio" forecast for any location in OpenSnow.

When we talk about snow quality, such as “light and fluffy” or “heavy and wet”, we are talking about the snow-to-liquid ratio. The higher the snow-to-liquid ratio, the lighter the snow quality, and vice-versa.

  1. Go to any location screen and tap the "Snow Summary" tab.
  2. Scroll down to the 5-day hourly or 10-day forecast section.
  3. View the 5-day hourly or daily "Snow Ratio" forecast for the next 10 days.

10:1 will be fun but will feel a little heavy.

15:1 will offer some face shots and feel pretty light.

20:1 will be incredibly light, almost like skiing through nothing but air.

This new feature is currently available with the latest version of the OpenSnow iOS app installed (App Store > OpenSnow > Update), on the OpenSnow website (OpenSnow.com), and is currently rolling out to the OpenSnow Android app.

View → Snow Ratio Forecast

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

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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