It's been a good month in Colorado Ski Country. We've had some bouts of snow and some bouts of beautiful Colorado sunshine. The upcoming pattern is definitely going to be a beneficial storm for Colorado. Some areas may be measuring feet of snow by the end of the month!
The drought in Colorado still persists so the incoming moisture is desperately needed. What the incoming storm looks like is a constant stream of moisture and energy flowing in from the southwest. So, naturally, the southwest mountains (like Telluride and Purgatory) should fair rather well by the end of the storm cycle. Areas in the central and northern mountains will be working with less moisture as moisture decreases the further north you go.
Here's what we are looking at weather-wise now through the end of January.
Steamboat, Howelsen Hill, Eldora, Winter Park, Granby Ranch
Since the winds will be traveling from the SW, a lot of moisture is going to be used up by the time is reaches the northern mountains but that doesn't mean there won't be any! Most of the mountains far west of the divide in this area should see upwards of 6-12" by the end of the weekend with another round of that possible by the end of the month. From Winer Park to Steamboat, not as much snow will fall but there will still be some good fluff. It won't come all at once but consistent snows are good for the snowpack here so we'll take it.
Here's a look at timing over the next 10 days: mind you, this more shows the timing of the storm rather than the storm's amount of snow.
Starting this weekend: snow will brush the area with 4-10"" of snow. Then we'll see another disturbance move over this area again Tuesday dropping another 2-6" of snow across the region. Following that, we'll catch a quick break of sunny days before another storm rolls through on Friday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Each of those storms will produce some additional medium snows. All of this results in about 8-16"+ of snow by the end of the month.
Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Copper, Aspen, Sunlight, Powderhorn, Echo, Monarch, Cooper
The Central mountains will see slightly higher totals than the northern mountains since there will be a bit more moisture to work with. Orographic's play a big part in this whole sequence of storms. SW facing slopes will be in the sweet spot for the higher totals. By the end of this weekend, 6-12" of snow is expected. Less towards the east. A Basin to Copper may only end up will 2-6" of snow this weekend.
The weekend is when the snow starts here. Then another bout of snow moves through for Sunday/Monday and then again on Tuesday. These bouts of snow will drop 2-6" each time. After a quick lull during the mid-late week, another storm moves in by Friday and Saturday. This will be a bigger storm producing 4-8" of snow. A similar trend continues as more storms are expected to move through in the first week of February.
Telluride, Silverton, Hesperus, Purgatory and Kendall
The southwest mountains will see the most snow from this storm cycle. In a change of what is typically expected with a La Niña weather pattern, rather heavy, consistent snow will hit Southern Colorado through the end of the month. The southwest wind that will be hitting the area comes with a lot of moisture. The storms will be losing some moisture as the head this way but enough moisture will make it to make for some VERY nice powder days. By the end of the weekend, some areas may have 18" of snow.
Like the other regions, snow starts this weekend and pretty much continues through next Wednesday with the only break coming on Thursday before another storm moves in on Friday. Total snow for this region is topping 30-40"!
Enjoy the powder days ahead and keep doing your snow dances!
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Andy is a freelance meteorologist in Colorado. He's been working with Colorado Ski Country USA since 2019.