Loveland Ski Area – Casey Day
Have you dreamed of skiing or riding in shoulder-deep powder?! How you dreamed of skiing or riding on soft, fluffy snow? What about carving your way through feet of fresh. first tracks on a ski hill?
Good news, your time is coming!
This weekend, February 7-9, will be an AMAZING time to get out in Colorado Ski Country. A major snowstorm is expected to drop FEET of snow in most areas. Let’s talk about specifics so you can plan your weekend accordingly.
Travel will be near impossible at certain times over the next few days. Thursday and Friday are looking to be the worst travel days as heavy snow will be occurring almost consistently. Mountain passes are also expected to see wind gusts up to 60 mph creating white-out and blizzard-like conditions. I’m assuming some mountain passes will be closing due to the nature of this storm.
It is recommended that you carpool or use public transportation as much as possible to get to and from the mountains this weekend. Most ski areas offer shuttles from towns close by and the benefit there is that the towns normally sit at lower elevations where the snow may not be as bad. Look into the Winter Park Express train that brings you to and from Winter Park Resort from Downtown Denver. You can also use the new Bustang service which provides daily weekend trips to Arapahoe Basin, Steamboat Resort and Loveland Ski Area.
Please plan ahead for tough travel. Remember the new traction law that is in place this year. Use the Colorado Department of Transportations website to check road conditions ahead of time. You can also follow and accidents and road closures that may be occurring.
The National Weather Service in Boulder will provide you with updated forecasts for areas like Denver, Steamboat, Winter Park and Loveland Ski Area.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction will provide you with updated forecasts for areas like Grand Junction, Aspen, Telluride and Powderhon Ski Resort.
The National Weather Service in Pueblo will provide you with updated forecasts for areas like Colorado Springs, Wold Creek and Monarch Mountain.
You can support Andy, Colorado Ski Country USA’s resident meteorologist on Facebook and Twitter for more weather and ski information across the state.
Thanks to a screaming Jet Stream above us, ample amounts of Pacific moisture are funneling into Colorado. The Jet Stream provides energy and carries along moisture and those two combined creates snowfall. Also, the mountains of Colorado are so tall that they impact snow. Orographic lifting is when you get lift in the atmopshere due to the topography. All of these together will provide the mountains with a very big snowstorm.
All ski areas listed are under a Winter Storm Warning for 1-3 feet of snow. This will start overnight into Thursday morning and continue through Saturday morning. Northwest facing slopes may see significantly more snowfall than forecast due to the trajectory of the winds and that orographic lifting that was aforementioned.
All ski areas listed will be receiving snow in this period as well but not advisory or warning criteria. Most areas can expect 2-8 inches of fresh snow over the next few days. Travel will be difficult as well but they may not be as severe as areas in the Winter Storm Warning.
Another round of snow is expected during this period. This time, the southern mountains will receive more snow. Early estimates are calling for the possibility of 5-15 inches of snow during this period. For the north-central mountains, roughly 4-10 inches of snow can be expected. This forecast could change as we clear up some of the data and get closer to the actual date.
More signals of intermittent snow can be expected for this period. This far out, it’s hard to distinguish storms but there are signs of consistent light to moderate snow totals for mountain locations.
This will all add to our above-average snowpack but will also lead to an increased risk for avalanche danger for a prolonged period of time. Snowpack as of January 31, 2020 is sitting at 109 percent of average on a statewide level. This number is expected to increase with the amount of snow that is expected over the next two weeks. We have also seen a reduction of the severity of drought in some mountain locations thanks to the snow that continued to fall in the High Country.
Enjoy the upcoming snow that we are about to see here in Colorado. It’s going to be amazing and the conditions are going to be superb. If you want to stay updated on the snow report that is updated DAILY from the ski resorts themselves, sign up to receive the snow report email that you can modify to get sent to you when you’d like.
If you are out and about this winter, tag Colorado Ski Country USA in your Instagram and Facebook posts! We love to see you enjoying our backyard and would love to feature your photos on our social media platforms. You can also use the hashtag #AMountainForEveryone to get featured as well!
Andy is Colorado Ski Country’s Communication Coordinator. He is also a trained meteorologist with over 6 years of experience working most recently as a broadcast meteorologist.