Snowpack across Colorado started off great in October but quickly diminished as November provided barely any beneficial snow to the state. Snowpack is the very important metric that is tracked because snowpack directly impacts the amount of drinking water that is available to millions of people across the west.
Current snowpack is sitting at 54% of average statewide with the North Platte and Arkansas river valleys seeing the best conditions while the San Juan mountain basins are struggling to get to half of what is normal for this time of the year.
Another way to visualize the lack of snow this season so far is to compare it to other years. So far, WY2022 is running well below the long-term average and well below the last several years as well. Ultimately, we need snow. Badly.
We have several chances of snow this week across the Colorado high country. The first snow showers come later today as some moisture moves in from the PNW. This will start around sunset and will continue into the morning hours of Tuesday. This isn’t looking to be a huge storm for Colorado but a few winter weather advisories have been posted ahead of this storm due to the fact that travel could be impacted. Here are the expected snow totals by Wednesday morning across the state.
The Western San Juan’s and the Park mountains near Steamboat should see the most snow with this system due to jet dynamics and orographics but most mountain locations can expect at least an inch or two with this system .
Our next system begins to bring snow into the area Wednesday night and will last through Saturday morning. This storm has the potential to be one of the bigger storms so far this season. Many mountain locations should see over 6″ of snow with some areas picking up over a foot!
The storm Friday also brings widespread snow to many mountain locations across the west which is also great news because most of the west is struggling with snowpack numbers.
What about Denver?
Well, Denver is still waiting on its first snow of the season. It’s been 229 since measurable snow has fallen in Denver (at the airport) and we are well past the latest date of first snow further solidifying that this snow season is crap so far.
Regardless, snow chances do go up for Friday for most of the Urban Corridor as this system moves through. We’re not looking at a blockbuster storm here but an inch or two of accumulation is on the table. We’ll see if that pans out but for now, at least some decent snow is in the forecast.