Sign Up for an All-Access Pass

The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado

Snow Friday, enough for skiing pow?

YOU ARE BLOCKING ADS
Would you mind adding OpenSnow.com to the safe list?
Or, support OpenSnow directly for just $19/yr and enjoy no ads, 10-day forecasts, and unlimited custom alerts.
Advertisement

Summary

We'll have dry and warm weather through Thursday afternoon, and then it's likely that a significant storm will bring snow from Thursday night through Friday night. The forecast will change since we're still four days away from the snow, but right now it appears that this storm will favor the northern and central mountains with 4-8 inches of snow, and perhaps double digits if we're lucky. If you can find somewhere with a base and/or runs open, the best powder could be on Friday-day and/or Saturday morning.

Thanksgiving in Breckenridge

Hit the slopes of Breckenridge early this year for short lift lines and low lodging rates! Spend your Thanksgiving with Beaver Run Resort for a traditional feast and slope-side accommodations. Rooms up to 20% off: http://opsw.co/2jfgHuI

Short Term Forecast

I love starting with a reader photo. This is from Karen who went hiking at Winter Park over the weekend. Soon I hope that we'll be sharing photos of skiing pow.

The weather from Monday through Thursday will be mostly dry and on the warmer side.

The only chance for a few flakes (literally, a few flakes) will be on early Monday morning in the southern mountains, and on Wednesday in the far northern mountains.

Temperatures will likely drop low enough during the nights to allow for some snowmaking at higher elevations, but temperatures will be warm enough during the daytime to prevent snowmaking from going 24/7. This means that there will likely not be a lot of terrain open when we get natural snow on Friday.

Storm #15 – snow Thursday night through Friday night

This storm is trending in the right direction.

About one week ago, it looked like we would get no snow and only cold air.

Then for the last two days, it appeared that the storm would move close enough to deliver a few inches of snow.

And now, in the last 24 hours, most models have trended up again and now forecast that we'll get a nice burst of snow from Thursday night through Friday with significant accumulations possible if everything comes together as advertised.

The storm will be moving in from the west-northwest, which means that the northern half of Colorado will be favored for the deepest snow. There is a chance that this storm will pull additional moisture from the Pacific Ocean, and if this happens, the southern mountains may also do well. This is a lower chance, but still a chance.

Storm timing

Snow should start on Thursday night and continue through Friday evening. We'll refine the timing over the next few days. If you want to ski fresh snow, Friday-day and Saturday morning are likely your best options.

Snow amounts

Here is the University of Utah ensemble forecast, showing many versions of the Canadian and American models. This is for Vail Pass, in the northern mountains. Amounts range from 1-11 inches with an average of about 4-5 inches.

Below is a graphic showing 51 versions of the European model, also for Vail Pass. The green bar at the bottom shows the average snow forecast for all 51 versions, which is about 6 inches. In the top part of the graphic, each horizontal line shows the forecast from one of the 51 versions. Roughly half of the model versions forecast a bit more than 6 inches.

Finally, the map below shows the average of many forecasts. The central and northern mountains are in the 4-8 inch range, with about 2-4 inches in the southern mountains.

With the storm trending stronger, I'd say 4-8 inches in the northern and central mountains is a reasonable forecast, with the possibility for double-digits in a few spots. The southern mountains will likely be in the 2-4 inch range but could be higher if the storm pulls in more moisture.

The last factor I'll talk about is the jet stream. It is forecast to be directly over Colorado during part of the storm, and this could mean intense snowfall for a time, which could quickly jack up totals. The models do take the jet stream into account, but sometimes the resulting snowfall is a bit more intense than the models expect.

Bottomline – expect fresh snow on Friday and perhaps Saturday morning with cold temperatures both days and strong winds on Friday. Terrain is very limited inbounds (just a few trails), so do not expect a mid-winter type powder day, but fresh snow is always fun.

YOU ARE BLOCKING ADS
Would you mind adding OpenSnow.com to the safe list?
Or, support OpenSnow directly for just $19/yr and enjoy no ads, 10-day forecasts, and unlimited custom alerts.
Advertisement
YOU ARE BLOCKING ADS
Would you mind adding OpenSnow.com to the safe list?
Or, support OpenSnow directly for just $19/yr and enjoy no ads, 10-day forecasts, and unlimited custom alerts.
Advertisement

Extended Forecast

Most models show generally dry weather from Saturday through Thanksgiving.

But, I have little trust in the accuracy of the forecast beyond about 5-6 days. The storm this Friday was originally forecast to stay well north of Colorado, and now the models switched and show a decent round of snow. This shows that changes are possible (likely!) in the longer-term forecast

So, for now, it looks like we'll return to a drier weather pattern through Thanksgiving, but that could change. Some models are hinting at more snow around November 21st-ish, but it's far too soon to get excited about this.

Thanks for reading!

JOEL GRATZ

Announcements

Colorado Forecast Page https://opensnow.com/state/co
Download  The OpenSnow Mobile App

New Backcountry Guide Book
Brittany Konsella and Frank Konsella, authors of 14erskiers.com, just released a guidebook with 102 backcountry routes in Colorado, spanning the range from mid-winter powder to technical spring ski mountaineering. Read more and order the book here:
https://14erskiers.com/blog/backcountry-ski-snowboard-routes-colorado/

I am giving a talk Colorado Springs on Wednesday, November 15th.
- Bristol Brewing, 1604 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80905
- My talk will start at 630pm
- Hosted by The Mountain Chalet, a local outdoors shop
- Topic: Outlook for the winter, update on Friday's storm, tricks to forecasting snow in Colorado

I am giving a talk in Denver on Thursday, November 16th.
- Denver Athletic Club, 1325 Glenarm Street, Denver, CO  80204 (Centennial Room, 3rd floor)
- Doors open at 600pm, talk starts around 630pm
- $5 at the door pays for a beer and snacks, cash bar as well
- Parking available in the DAC garage for $5
- Topic: Outlook for the winter, update on Friday's storm, tricks to forecasting snow in Colorado

Geography Key

Northern Mountains
Steamboat, Granby, Beaver Creek, Vail, Ski Cooper, Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, Eldora, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass

Along the Divide
Loveland, Abasin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass

East of the Divide
Eldora, Echo, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass

Central Mountains
Aspen, 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

Did you know that you can get more from OpenSnow?

If you’re looking for a way to support OpenSnow and get access to more data, consider signing up for the All-Access Pass.

  • 10-day forecasts
  • Custom alerts to know about upcoming powder days
  • Time-lapse webcams for tracking exactly when fresh snow has fallen
  • Email delivery of the Colorado Daily Snow as soon as it’s published

All of this costs just $19 for one full year (365 days) and helps to support OpenSnow so that we can spend money and time to further improve our website and mobile apps.

I’d love to count you as an All-Access member!

YOU ARE BLOCKING ADS
Would you mind adding OpenSnow.com to the safe list?
Or, support OpenSnow directly for just $19/yr and enjoy no ads, 10-day forecasts, and unlimited custom alerts.
Advertisement

Recommended Content

YOU ARE BLOCKING ADS
Would you mind adding OpenSnow.com to the safe list?
Or, support OpenSnow directly for just $19/yr and enjoy no ads, 10-day forecasts, and unlimited custom alerts.
Advertisement
Please disable ad block or upgrade to ad-free.