Many of the highest peaks saw a dusting to a few inches of snow on Thursday night. Cool air and a bit more snow will stick around through Saturday. Then Sunday through Tuesday should be drier, with another cool and potentially snowy storm moving in next Wednesday through Saturday.
Short Term Forecast
Here is the view on Friday, Sep 15th from Telluride looking south (Photo: Telluride Ski Resort)
And this is what Crested Butte looked like on Friday morning (Photo: Crested Butte)
Most of the snow fell on Thursday night as a line of showers moved across Colorado. It appears that the heaviest snow fell in the southern and central mountains above treeline.
This satellite image from Friday morning shows the view of a satellite that is 22,500 miles away from earth. The straight white lines show the outline of Colorado, and other areas of white are either snow on the peaks or clouds. I added arrows to show the location of the snow above treeline in the central mountains between Aspen and Crested Butte, as well as in the northern San Juans around Telluride and Silverton.
The storm responsible for our snow is dropping a lot more snow(6-10+ inches) in Montana and Wyoming.
On the satellite image below, you can clearly see the counter-clockwise swirl located over northeastern Wyoming. That swirl is the center of the storm, but of course, snow and rain extends far away from the center.
Next few days
Expect additional snow and rain showers on Friday and Friday night for areas near and north of I-70. After that, most of Saturday and Sunday will be dry with just a few showers here and there.
Temperatures will warm on Sunday and the warming trend will continue into Monday and Tuesday.
If you want to see gorgeous Aspen leaves, the next few days should be good as some areas are starting to really turn (peak is usually from Sep 20 to Oct 10, earlier north, later south).
The active weather will continue for the west as another storm will bring cold air and snow next week.
Here is the snow forecast through next Friday, September 22nd. What you see is the combination of the snow falling now and the snow forecast for next week.
Next week's storm should take a similar-ish track to this week's storm, with the most snow falling in the northern Rockies.
Here in Colorado, expect lots of wind on Wednesday into Thursday, cooler air Thursday through next weekend, and more snow likely above treeline.
If you are waiting until next weekend (Sep 23-24) to head to the mountains to see the golden Aspen leaves, plan to dress warmer, expect snow on the ground above treeline, and hope that the wind next week doesn't carry away too many leaves next week.
The 6-10 day outlook for Sep 20-24 shows below average temperatures and above average precipitation across the west. I know it's not ski season yet, but man, these maps get me excited. I hope to see similar maps in a couple months!
The latest forecast now gives a 60% chance for a La Nina this winter. La Nina means cooler than average ocean water temperatures in the central Pacific, and it can bring a great storm track from the west and northwest with good snowfall for Colorado. Don't get too excited because 3-6 month forecasts are generally terrible, but this could be a good sign and is getting me a bit excited.
Have a great weekend and I'll chat with you on Monday!
Join me in Denver and Boulder in late September to have a bite, grab a drink, and talk about cat & heli skiing. The goal for the night is to share a bunch of knowledge about how to pick a great cat or heli trip in Colorado, British Columbia, or Alaska. See more info and RSVP on our event pages:
Denver, Tue, Sep 26
Boulder, Thu, Sep 28
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