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The Colorado Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Colorado

Update on the Friday storm, still looking good

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Summary

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be dry and mostly sunny. Snow should arrive on Thursday night and continue through Saturday night. Most of the central and northern mountains should see 5-10 inches, with a few spots coming in higher. The southern mountains may nab 3-6 inches. After that, there could be a bit more snow next Tuesday. Open terrain is still very limited, but hey, it's good to have some snow in the forecast!

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

We'll start out with a gorgeous visible satellite image from Monday morning. The satellite is the new GEOS-16, paid for by our tax dollars. This equipment is sitting around 22,500 miles from earth, and the picture is called a "visible" image because the satellite instrumentation is sensing the same wavelength that our eyes can see. So, if you had really good vision and were 22,500 miles from earth on Monday morning, this is what you would have seen.

The snow cover is a bit more extensive over the central and northern mountains. Also, the 'fuzzy' white areas in the northern mountains show snow cover that extends to a lower elevation, where trees and shrubs give the image a fuzzy white/gray color.

Moving on, how are we doing for snow this season? It could be better. The map below shows the current snowpack compared to average, with data from the backcountry weather station network known as SNOTEL. The northwest is doing great (numbers represent the percent of average snowpack). Northern Colorado is reasonably close to normal, thanks to last week's storm. The central and southern mountains of Colorado are well below normal.

Next storm on Friday

Following dry and sunny weather through Thursday evening, winds will increase and snow will begin on Thursday night. The snow should continue through late Friday night, and then Saturday morning will dawn mostly clear and cold with fresh snow cover.

How much snow? The OpenSnow Powder Finder (http://opensnow.com/powder?count=5&filter=s-CO), which averages forecasts from multiple versions of the European Model and the National Weather Service, shows 5-10 inches in the central and northern mountains with 3-6 inches in the southern mountains.

The latest European model version shows similar amounts.

Terrain is very limited, so do NOT expect a mid-winter-like powder day on Friday or Saturday. That said, on Friday you will find fresh snow along windy and stormy weather. On Saturday morning, expect fresh snow (that fell on Friday evening), calmer winds and temperatures in the teens.

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Extended Forecast

The upcoming weekend should be dry, and then there is a chance for a few inches of snow around next Tuesday, November 21st. The storm could come in stronger or weaker, but for now I am keeping my expectations on the low end.

Further out, it appears that most of the end of November will be rather warm over the western US. This does NOT mean we will go without snow, but the weather pattern will not be favorable for snow or cold air, so we'll need some luck for any storm in the Pacific Ocean to battle its way through the ridge of high pressure that will try to deflect storms around the western US.

Here is the CFSv2 model forecast for temperatures compared to average for the last five days of November. Red shows above-average temperatures.

There is a glimmer of hope. The same CFSv2 model shows a transition to cooler weather over the western US between about December 5-10.

We will eventually transition to cooler and stormier weather but I do not know exactly when this will happen. The map above is just a long-term estimate, please don't trust it down to a single date. Also, pattern changes often take longer than the models think, so we may not see a serious shift toward cooler weather until closer to the middle of December. Annnnnd, forecasts beyond 10-15 days have very little skill, so take all of this with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Lastly for today, I want to make sure that you know we have a LOT more information on OpenSnow aside from this Colorado Daily Snow. Specifically, one of the things that is super valuable are 'Daily Snow' posts focused on the more popular mountains. You can find all of the Daily Snows on our app, and here are the direct links for those of you reading on a browser:

Colorado

Breckenridge: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/breckenridge

Copper: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/copper

Steamboat: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/steamboat

Vail: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/vail

Northern Rockies

Grand Targhee: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/grandtarghee

Jackson Hole: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/jacksonhole

Sun Valley: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/sunvalley

California

Mammoth: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/mammoth

Squaw/Alpine: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/squawalpine

Canada

Whistler: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/whistler

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see many of you at my talks in Colorado Springs and Denver this week ... see below for details!

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!

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