Aside from deep powder days, autumn days in Colorado are my favorites, and we'll see plenty of perfect fall days coming up. The only wrinkle will be rain showers and high-elevation snow showers on Tuesday and Tuesday evening, and gusty winds on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as a storm passes nearby.
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Short Term Forecast
There will not be much happening in the weather department for the next week, and that's reasonably typical for Colorado in September.
The first piece of data that I now check is the smoke forecast. The good news is that there is not much smoke for most mountains, though the front range is still dealing with it.
Below is the smoke forecast that you can access via our other service called OpenSummit.com.
The dark red colors at the top are smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire west of Ft Collins and the Mullen Fire in southern Wyoming.
The smoke outlook for the rest of the week is for more of the same to continue. It appears that most of Colorado will see only light smoke most of the time, and there will be thicker concentrations of smoke closer to the active fires and across the front range at times. While any smoke is not good news for air quality, most of the forecast data I see indicates that we should not have a repeat of the thick smoke that we had to deal with weeks ago.
In terms of the weather forecast, the only action this week will be a few showers on Monday afternoon and more showers on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Some mountains will see the showers, and others will not. Temperatures will be cool enough that perhaps a few of the highest peaks will get dusted with snow on Tuesday evening.
The forecast below is from OpenSummit.com for Aspen Mountain, in the middle of the state, and shows the increased risk for a few showers on Tuesday.
Once the weak storm and showers pass on Tuesday and Tuesday night, we should see just a low chance for a lingering shower on Wednesday then dry weather on Thursday and Friday.
The most excitement I see in the 10-day forecast is for a storm to sideswipe northern Colorado on Saturday.
The only impacts from this storm will be afternoon gusty winds on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as temperatures that are a few degrees cooler on Saturday and Sunday. Most models show no precipitation as the storm passes, though the German ICON model hints at the chance for a few showers over the northern mountains on Saturday.
Once the weekend system passes, the final week of September should be dry with average temperatures over the mountains and maybe a few days of cooler weather over the front range.
If you're searching for snow, the 10-day snow forecast shows action in British Columbia and Europe.
And that's fine with me. While I love to see snowflakes, the best-case scenario for fall recreation and early-winter skiing and riding here in Colorado is for warm and dry weather to continue for another month and then have the snow turn on sometime in early-to-mid November when it has a chance of sticking around due to cooler temperatures and the lower sun angle.
Until then, I'll take the warmth and sunshine and hope that any periods of gusty winds stay short so that crews can continue to make progress on the wildfires.
Thanks for reading!
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
Aspen, Sunlight, Monarch, Crested Butte, Irwin, Powderhorn
Telluride, Silverton – north side of the southern mountains | Purgatory, Wolf Creek – south side of the southern mountains
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