It’s early December and Colorado’s snowpack is struggling but there is snow on the way! And the greatest news of all? There are MULTIPLE bouts of snow coming for the mountains of Colorado just enough time to blanket our ski hills with some fluffy powder for the Holidays.
The current snowpack across Colorado looks like this:
The snowpack is a judge of how good the snow conditions are across the state and as you can see, most of us are in the yellow and orange range. Areas around Wolf Creek has seen the nicest snow conditions this entire season. This period of snowy weather should boost snowpack numbers across all of Colorado.
Drought across Colorado has also been extremely bad. Drought conditions have persisted this entire year and have worsened each month this year leading to an astounding 94-percent of Colorado being affected by Severe drought status and 75-percent of Colorado being affected by Extreme drought. This incoming moisture will be incredibly beneficial to not only the skiers but the snowpack and water supply for us and will hopefully be the beginning of a better snowpack season.
The Southern Mountains will encompass Wolf Creek ski area, Telluride Resort, Purgatory Resort, Silverton mountain, Kendall mountain and Hesperus ski area.
A way to watch snowfall forecasts is to check trends and knowing that some storms come into Colorado from different areas. I.e. storms that come to Colorado from the SW, impact the southern mountains the most and produce the most snow for them. Not all of the systems that will affect Colorado will be coming from this direction so, although there is snow in the forecast, it doesn’t mean that the southern mountains will see the most snow.
Noting the dates along the bottom of the forecast model images, you’ll see that snow will be possible for the southern mountains on or around:
Most of the models are agreeing that this is some kind of disturbance present on these dates which give decent confidence that we will have a lot ot watch over the next two weeks. It’s hard to say that totals will be high or not but the fact that a snowy signal is showing up is good news.
The strongest storm signal we see for the southern mountains is starting right now. Up to 10-20″ is possible between now and the end of the weekend for the southern mountains. Enjoy those fresh pow turns!
The Central Mountains
The Central Mountains encompass Monarch, Vail, Crested Butte, Beaver Creek, Powderhorn, Sunlight, the Aspen mountains.
For the Central mountains, the best storms comes from the the Pacific Northwest. We will have some decent storms coming through to provide beneficial snow for these areas. The Central mountains will see anywhere between 2-8″ of snow for each of these systems.
It’s important to remember that the further out we look, the less likely we feel about the forecast but there is okay agreement between the main weather models to give us hope!
The best chances of seeing snow in the Central mountains over the next two weeks will be on:
Again, these are just signals showing up but it gives us a sense of whats to come. The lead up to the Holidays should be very kind to the Central mountains of Colorado.
The Northern Mountains
The Northern mountains will encompass Copper, Cooper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Winter Park, Granby Ranch, Howelson Hill and Steamboat.
In a year like this one, a La Niña year, the Northern mountains typically see the best snow setups. The beginning of this snow year, that was not the case. There has been such a lack of snow that some areas are struggling to open added terrain. That is about to change.
All of the main weather models are picking up on some stormy signals and perhaps the most prominent storm signals out of the bunches of mountains.
If we were to believe these models, there should be snow on or around:
This gives us a good idea that leading up to the Holidays, there will be a healthier snowpack in the Northern mountains than there is now. The signals showing up for the northern mountains looks the best meaning that we will have better snow totals up in this area.
Like the Southern and Central mountains though, the best snow looks to come this weekend and on Tuesday where 8-16″ of snow could fall.
Front Range mountains like Echo and Eldora will be seeing some decent snows as well during these times.
Enjoy the fresh pow and make sure to have fun, be safe and mask up! We should have a very bonafide snowpack by the end of the year.