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!
The first good snowfall occurred in Denver Saturday night into Monday morning with accumulations favoring the foothills and Palmer Divide. A typical Metro Denver snow storm that traveled north to south throughout the day Sunday and into Monday morning. Here are a few totals from CoCoRaHS that we are currently seeing reported across the region:
Highlands Ranch: 5.5″
Castle Rock: 5.0″
Colorado Springs: 4.5″
The most devastating fire in California history is currently burning in and around the area of Paradise as seen in the link provided below from google maps:
The “Camp Fire” started last Thursday and continues to devastate the city of Paradise and has taken 31 lives thus far and destroyed around 6,700 structures. The most ever recorded in California both lives lost and structures destroyed. There are still over 200 people not accounted for at this time as crews continue to search for people. Unfortunately any help from mother nature appears to be out of the question as high pressure builds over California with no chance for precipitation in sight over the next few days. Although no precipitation is present, winds have calmed down to variable over most of the area which should help the fire from spreading out of control and into other areas nearby.
For the first time in a decade a few Colorado ski resorts are opening early! Both Keystone, Breckenridge and Eldora opened their first runs yesterday which was two days earlier than anticipated this year while Eldora was a whole nine days early. Snow making and beneficial snow fall this past week provided enough total snow depth to start the ski season for these resorts and other resorts are looking to open early as well. Winter Park is scheduled to open November 14th, followed by Copper Mountain and Vail November 16th. Ski Cooper has also pushed their opening day up to November 23rd. Get out there and enjoy the beautiful high country this weekend as more snow is expected for those fresh powder runs!
Snow Totals Since Sunday November 4th per CoCoRaHS:
Steamboat Springs: 11.7″
Oak Creek: 7.9″
Crested Butte: 4.5″
The weather pattern has been active in the mountains during portions of October into the first week of November resulting in snow pack being above normal for this time of year in every drainage. While this is good news for ski resorts to start the season we still have a long ways to go building up the snow pack through the winter for runoff this spring. Above is the current snow pack map for the state of Colorado and can also be found on the web at: