Colorado Daily Snow

Storms get close, but Colorado will stay on the dry side

Summary

Two storms will move close to Colorado this week, but it looks like both systems will push the majority of the rain and snow to the north of our state. With a few wildfires burning, I would have liked to see more rain and less wind in the forecast. Looking ahead, we could see two more storms, around September 24 and September 28.

Short Term Forecast

Let’s take a quick look back at the dusting of snow that fell at high elevations on September 11-12.

Those snowflakes were fun to see, but they quickly melted and the atmosphere left us with an absolutely spectacular Saturday (September 14). It was a perfect bluebird day and I hope that you had a blast playing in the mountains. I was checking mountain cams on Saturday and noticed the Oktoberfest party going on at Arapahoe Basin. It was a perfect day to party!

Something else that caught my eye was this picture posted on Copper Mountain’s Instagram feed. Those are the towers being installed on the new Three Bears (Tucker Mountain) chairlift.

Ok, enough about the past. On to the future!

On Sunday, September 15, we saw showers in the afternoon over southern Colorado.

On Monday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 17, we will continue to see showers over the mountains as a storm to our northwest pulls limited moisture into Colorado.

Unfortunately for a few ongoing wildfires across the state, we’ll see more wind than rain on Monday and Tuesday. There will be a bit of cooler air that arrives later on Tuesday, but most of the precipitation should be over by then, so we’ll likely not see much or any snow on the higher peaks.

Wednesday and Thursday should be dry days, though models are split whether we’ll see a few showers on Wednesday. No matter what happens with the details, the gist is that precipitation amounts will be little to nothing during the middle of the week.

Then on Friday, September 20th, the next storm should move close to Colorado. Unfortunately, this storm should also stay to the northwest of our state, and that means that we’ll see more wind than rain or snow.

It’s possible that the storm on the 20th could move slowly and hang around through the 21st or a bit later, though I am not optimistic for significant precipitation.

After the system on the 20-21st, we’ll wait a few days until another storm might arrive around Tuesday, September 24th. That’s about eight days from now, so confidence is low, but I’ll keep an eye on this system.

Pulling all of this together into a 10-day precipitation outlook, most models show that we’ll be drier than average, with wetter conditions well to our northwest over Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and northwestern Wyoming.

In terms of snowfall, areas to our northwest will have the best chance for a few inches at the higher elevations, while chances for high-elevation snow here in Colorado are quite low.

Extended Forecast

It’s still two weeks away, but the weather pattern around September 28th (plus or minus a few days) has my attention. The American GFS model has been hinting at a cooler and stormier pattern setting up over the western US, and the European model is slowly trending toward this possibility. Of course, confidence in a 14-day forecast is ultra-low, but it’s something to watch.

Have a wonderful week and I’ll be back on Monday, September 23 with an update on the potential storm for Sep 24th and the possible cooler pattern toward the end of the month.

Thanks for reading!

JOEL GRATZ

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