Colorado Daily Snow

Stay at home through April / Thursday morning update

Summary

The Governor of Colorado has issued a “Stay at Home” order from March 26 through at least April 11 with limited exceptions. The order states that only travel essential to your work or health is allowed. I will continue to post weather forecasts for informational purposes and to provide a source for positive news.

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Short Term Forecast

I will keep including the notes below in each of my posts. I will highlight new additions in red

Stay At Home Colorado

“I direct all Coloradans to stay at home, subject to limited exceptions such as obtaining food and other household necessities, going to and from work at critical businesses, seeking medical care, caring for dependents or pets, or caring for a vulnerable person in another location.” This directive by the governor is in force from March 26 through at least April 11. Here is the full text of the Executive Order. Here is an explainer article.

Should You Go Skiing?

While it appears to be legal to go skiing, my take on this is that it's probably best to not ski.

If you go skiing in the backcountry, please stay close to home, do not travel to mountain communities if you don't already live there, and put yourself in a low-risk situation so that you do not have an accident that requires search and rescue (here's an amazingly-good article about what happened near Telluride on March 24th)

If you go skiing at a closed resort, please check ahead to see if uphill access is open (spoiler alert – uphill access is NOT open at most resorts) and respect those resorts who have closed uphill access.

The Weather

It’s Thursday morning and the storm has already moved into northwestern Colorado.

We can zoom the radar into western Colorado and, despite imperfect radar coverage due to our high mountains, we can tell that the trajectory of the snow band is taking it near Powderhorn (just east of Grand Junction), up to Steamboat, and also nosing into the Sunlight/Aspen area.

The latest high-resolution forecast models show that the intense snow band will stay over far northwestern Colorado through about midday on Thursday, and then showers and lines of intense snow will push to the east over the rest of the central and northern mountains by Thursday afternoon and linger through Thursday evening. All of the snow should be over by sunrise on Friday morning.

The CAIC WRF 2km model’s snow forecast has increased a bit over the far northwest due to the heavy band of snow moving more slowly on Thursday morning. No matter, we’re still looking at 4-8 inches for many central and northern mountains, which was the same range that we talked about yesterday.

Following the storm, Friday morning should dawn with chilly temperatures in the teens. It’ll be a beautiful morning to enjoy a view of fresh snow on our mountains with clearing skies overhead.

Extended Forecast

We are gaining more clarity on the forecast for next week.

It looks like we’ll see mostly dry weather from Saturday through about Wednesday.

During this time, a strong storm will break off from the main west-to-east flow of weather and will stall near California.

Most models show that this storm will finally start to move on Thursday with colder air and snow possible here in Colorado next Thursday and Friday (April 9-10).

However, these slow-moving storms over the west coast and the southwest usually move even more slowly than what the models forecast, so I would not be surprised to see this forecast shifted later in time and for us to wait at least an extra day, perhaps two, before the storm arrives at the end of next week or the following weekend.

Stay healthy, stay happy.

My next post will be on Friday morning.

JOEL GRATZ

PS – Doctors and nurses need personal protective equipment, including GOGGLES! You can find a local hospital that needs a donation of goggles here: https://gogglesfordocs.com/

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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, 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

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