Well, November has been VERY warm so far. Up until the recent snow we had on the 9th, the first week of November was Denver’s warmest first week of november on record.
Then the snow came. The snow came in and blasted the mountains with several inches to several FEET of snow. That led to Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Areas opening for the first time this season. That is abnormally late for those two. Normally, they get opened up in mid-October. But alas, the lack of snow so far this season had other plans. That wasn’t the case for Wolf Creek ski area! They opened a while back and have been getting HAMMERED by snow. Like 38″ in the last 7-days and so far this season, they have picked up 77″ of snow! Good for them and that part of the state.
As you know, the drought it very bad all across Colorado so we are really, really in need of this snow. Good news is, there is more on the way that could help put a little dent in some of the drought and it could also help build our snow pack. Good news all around.
The Mountains Are Calling
The mountains will continue to see snow on-and-off through the day on Thursday. This will mainly be for areas north of I-70. 3-6″ of snow could fall in the higher elevations. This should give Winter Park and Steamboat some decent snow. A Basin, Loveland and Keystone should get a few inches and then Copper, Vail and Aspen maybe get a up to four inches. All of the southern mountains will remain mostly dry for now. Monarch may squeeze out an inch or two.
From Thursday evening to Friday night, we get a quick break from the snow. A weak disturbance will brush the northern side of Colorado and bring the northern and central mountains another round of snow. This will be more substantial than what we see tonight and tomorrow.
As of now, the northern mountains look to benefit the best from this cycle with up to 10-12″ possibly from Saturday to Sunday. Places like Steamboat, RMNP, and Winter Park should be the bigger winners here. The Central mountains around I-70 like Loveland, Copper, Vail and Aspen should get 4-10″ of snow. Monarch and Telluride could get a few inches and Wolf Creek and Purgatory should get up to a few inches of snow.
The the heat turns on.
This ridge will keep much of the southwest warm and dry. The next disturbance that will likely impact us will come the weekend before Thanksgiving. This will come as a series of storms. One for the weekend, one for early week and one in time for Thanksgiving. We’ll see what kind of snow we get as the forecast comes into better focus but right now, it looks like we’ll endure a warm week, followed by another active storm cycle. From what I gather from the models, these will impact the whole state but it looks like the Central and Northern mountains will be the winners. Time will tell.
We’ll have to watch this upcoming warm up because we could see the snowpack deplete again before more snow moves in. Hopefully we get some consistent and good servings of snow this winter.
What About the Front Range?
I wish it were a better forecast but with that said, it’s not a completely bad forecast. The recent snow we saw only gace Denver International 0.05″ of precipitation. That’s not much. At all. We may have squeezed out 0.10″ of precip. in Denver but that’s not much of a difference. Needless to say, our drought it still bad and although we’ve seen some moisture, it won’t be enough to impact our drought locally.
Denver and the surrounding areas are inSever, Extreme or Exceptional droughts. It will take a lot of moisture to make up for what we’re lacking and unfortunately, even if we see our normal moisture through the end of the year – we are on track to have one of our top 10 driest years ever. Currently, we are in 4th place for the driest year but will the inevitable amount of additional moisture we see, that position will probably change.
Now, we probably won’t be in record territory when we see our big warm up but we will be 15-20º above normal and that is substantial enough.
Until the weekend before Thanksgiving, there is really nothing that looks to bring the Front Range any substantial precip. Rain or snow. It looks pretty dry, unfortunately. We have the slightest chance for some evening flurries and morning flurries from Friday to Saturday but I wouldn’t bet on it.
As you can see, eastern Colorado looks to be pretty dry. Arizona and New Mexico don’t have rain or snow in the forecast anywhere in the state. It’s just not the week for precip in the southwest.
There are a lot of possibilities in the realm of how we make up our moisture deficit but the chances of that happening are looking slim. We’re in a drought and we will likely stay this way for the foreseeable future. So, pray to the rain and snow gods that we get some appreciable moisture down here in the Front Range and hope that the mountains keep getting good snows.