Colorado will likely have a stay-at-home order through the end of April. But the weather won’t stop, and 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
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.
Thursday was a fun day to watch satellite, radar, and mountain cams as the storm swept through. As expected, we did see a few reports of 1-2 inch-per-hour snowfall rates during Thursday afternoon as the cold front and squalls pushes across the northern and central mountains.
Piecing together snow reports from SNOTEL sites, mountain sensors, and the few remaining snow stake cams that are operating, here is the range of snow totals from Thursday morning to Friday morning.
Northern Mountains: 3-7”
Central Mountains: 2-8”
Southern Mountains: 0-2”
We went into this storm thinking that 4-8 inches would be a reasonable range for the central and northern mountains, and that’s roughly what happened.
Now on Friday morning, the snow is mostly over and skies are clearing. There are beautiful scenes all over our mountains. Here is one image that caught my eye, with low clouds shrouding the valley, fresh snow on the peaks, and the pastel colors of sunrise. Gorgeous!
In addition to the fresh snow, the obvious change in the weather is that Friday morning’s temperatures are cold, around 0-10°F degrees at the mountain top. Compared to Thursday morning, this is a ~20°F drop in temperatures over 24 hours.
Looking ahead, we will see mostly dry weather from Friday through next Wednesday. There could be a few showers now and again, especially during the weekend, though we should not see any significant accumulations. Temperatures will warm during this time, with Friday’s highs in the 20s and then we’ll see mountain highs in the 30s and 40s over the weekend and through Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.
It is very likely that we will see a storm at the end of next week. Most models show snow returning on Thursday and Friday (April 9-10) however it’s possible that the storm could move more slowly than the models predict, so perhaps the bulk of the snow will arrive on Friday or even a bit later.
The forecast from the American GFS model shows the storm moving through southern Colorado late next week, and then another storm possibly moving in from the north over the weekend and early into the following week.
The summary of the long-range forecast is to expect snow later next week, and we might continue to see a few stormy days next weekend and into the following week (about April 11-14). Even if most of us are not skiing or riding this fresh snow, we’ll take every flake we can get so that they can be added to our snowpack and our water supply.
Stay healthy, stay happy.
My next post will be on Saturday morning.
PS – Doctors and nurses need personal protective equipment included GOGGLES! You can find a local hospital that needs a donation of goggles here: https://gogglesfordocs.com/
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Steamboat, Granby, Beaver Creek, Vail, Ski Cooper, Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, Eldora, Rocky Mountain National Park, Cameron Pass
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