For a December game weather conditions are about as good as they can get for this time of year. There will be some cloud cover this morning with skies eventually becoming partly cloudy to mostly sunny late this afternoon. Temperatures will reach the upper 50s to around 60 for highs between 1-2pm. After sunset temperatures will fall into the 40s and likely remain in the 40s through the remainder of the game. Winds today are expected to be light, generally under 10mph from the SW with some variability in direction at times. GO BRONCOS
A very mild week this week for the Colorado High Country as very little snow has fallen and temperatures have been mild throughout the week. This weekend will be much of the same with warm, sunny conditions expected with little to no new snowfall. Although fresh powder will be absent this weekend, travel conditions will be great and gorgeous sunny Colorado skies will make for awesome views anywhere in up in the mountains. Here is the snowfall probability outlook over the next two days from National Weather Service:
As you can see from the outlook, no snow is expected this weekend in the high country. If you enjoy getting up to the mountains for some sightseeing or ski/snowboarding under warm, sunny skies, now is your time to get up and take in all that the beautiful Colorado high country has to offer!
Last night was the start of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower and it was spectacular! Fortunately the upper level clouds that formed late last night dissipated just in time to allow for clear skies just after midnight. This made great viewing weather in the late evening into early morning and temperatures stayed just mild enough not to be too cold, of course a cup of hot cocoa helped keep the hands warm in order to take pictures. Here is a shot of a meteor just above the constellation Orion:
Several of meteors could be seen in almost every direction and that is what makes this meteor shower one of the best. The Geminid meteor shower offers the slowest moving meteors across the night sky, with multiple colors, sizes and trail intensities. If you missed last nights spectacular light show, don’t worry, because you can catch this event tonight as well! A few things to keep in mind before you head out. The best time to view the Geminid meteor shower will be after midnight and definitely after the moon sets to our west. Make sure you are well out of city lights (although I took the above picture in Thornton), and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness, around 30-45 minutes. This also means do not look at your phone or any other light source as it will keep your eyes from properly adjusting. The meteors originate from the Gemini constellation, hence the name, but meteors can be seen throughout the night sky (Personally I chose to look southwest towards the Orion constellation since that angle had the least light pollution for me). Skies this evening should be clear early with clouds starting to increase after midnight. Temperatures this evening will drop into the upper twenties to low thirties, but with a slight breeze this evening from the south, wind chills will hover in the low twenties, so if you plan to go watch make sure you bring a warm coat, hat and some gloves so you can stay comfortable during the dazzling light display that is the Geminid meteor shower!
Over the weekend little to no snowfall for the high country leading to sunny ski conditions and great travel conditions compared to the previous weekend. Here are a few of the higher snow totals from areas in the high country based on CoCoRaHS:
Steamboat Springs: 1.3″
Oak Creek: 1.8″
A beautiful week is in store with a small chances for snow to develop over the next couple of days. An increase is on the horizon for Wednesday as another disturbance is set to hit the high country. Here is the NWS probabilities for the high country seeing 0.1″ or more over the next two days:
Combined with the probability map of 1″ of snow or greater, you can definitely tell there is little to no chance for snow over the next two days:
Not too much snow over the next couple of days, but it appears that will change going into the weekend, more to come on that later in the week!
Last night we had snow in a few places across the front range with some areas seeing upwards of 2″, while most areas had just a trace. Very isolated snow bands formed from Cheyenne to Pueblo moving northwest to southeast. Here is a view of the snow that accumulated from last night’s snow storm:
The above is from a visible satellite image taken this morning and clearly shows areas of accumulated snow in light grey, almost white. In order to catch such a clear picture the conditions had to be just right with clear skies this morning after the snow had fallen the previous night. As you can see, the heaviest snow fell north and east of the front range with stronger snow well south of Denver towards Colorado Springs. A few bands had formed, the strongest being just north of Colorado Springs in the Academy area where you get the brightest reflection from this mornings sun with areas receiving 1-2″. Smaller bands formed just north into Castle Rock, where mostly a trace-0.5″ fell resulting in less reflection. Another very light band fell just northeast of DIA as well. As you can see from the image there was a very distinct northwest to southeast motion and very narrow bands that traversed through the front range and became more broad as they moved east. Not very often can you get an image like this as most times it either stays cloudy, you have low level fog, or it snows too broad everywhere and the entire region is blanketed in white. This is a perfect example of how the smaller storms are very difficult to pinpoint higher snow amounts and just how much of a difference there can be just miles away!
Some snow this past weekend for the Colorado high country with most ski resorts now open (Powderhorn being the only resort closed at this time)! Here are some of the total snow amounts in the mountains from this weekend per CoCoRaHS:
Fort Garland: 10.8″
Steamboat Springs: 2.5″
Not very much snow is expected early this week as seen below on NWS probabilities through 12/06/2018:
Slightly better chance for snow in the high country later this week and into the weekend just in time for any weekend ski trips!
Snow has been fairly abundant up to this point for portions of the Colorado high country but the San Juans of SW Colorado are not fairing as well with below normal snow pack currently. The South Platte and Arkansas River basins are the most above normal for this time of year with the NW river basins also experiencing above normal snow pack. This is great news for the Colorado ski resorts! An active weather pattern will continue into the near future with snow continuing to pile up over the mountains making for great ski conditions and helping to store water for the coming spring runoff. Above is a map showing the current snow water equivalent of the snow pack to date. This map can be found on the web by clicking here.
Heavy snow fell in the Colorado high country over Thanksgiving weekend resulting in treacherous driving conditions. A couple of multiple vehicle crashes along I-70 led to shut downs on an already busy holiday travel weekend. Although roads were terrible, the skiing was superb with most areas in the mountains receiving over a foot of snow with some places over two feet! Here are some totals from local storm reports over the weekend:
Mount Zirkel: 37.7″
Mount Audubon: 28.6″
Rabbit Ears Pass: 26.0″
Loveland Pass: 20.8″
Arapahoe Peak: 20.8″
Cameron Pass: 19.5″
Longs Peak: 19.5″
Berthoud Pass: 15.6″
Grand Lake: 14.3″
Copper Mountain: 13.0″
Winter Park: 13.0″
Guanella Pass: 11.7″
Red Feather Lakes: 9.1″
Meeker Park: 9.1″
NWS probabilities for this week are as follows:
Another round of snow is poised to hit the high country once again this week, but so far accumulations should be minimal between 1-3″ for most places with isolated higher amounts at higher elevations and westward facing slopes. If you can make it up to the high country this week, skiing conditions should be perfect with new fresh powder and mild temperatures along with some sunshine early in the week!
Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings are in place for the high country of Colorado through tonight with High Wind Warnings in place for the eastern plains. Wind blown snowfall will make travel difficult today over the higher elevations with strong NW winds over the plains gusting upwards of 50-60mph or more! There could be a fast moving band of rain/snow over the plains later this afternoon and evening but most of the precipitation with this storm system will be from the Continental Divide westward. Don’t let the mild temperatures and lighter winds this morning fool you along the I-25 corridor as it will become a rather unpleasant day with the wind and cooling temperatures.
Unfortunately this past weekend saw little snowfall in the high country, but that hasn’t stopped opening day for most of the ski resorts in Colorado thanks to some early snowfall this month. Resorts now open include:
Thankfully this week the mountains can expect additional snowfall from 4-8″ by Thanksgiving with higher localized amounts possible just in time for those fresh powder runs over the holiday break!