Powder Alert- New Mexico, Front Range Foothills of Colorado
It's dumping in the Colorado Front Range Foothills with an estimate of 12-15 inches thus far in the higher elevations around Boulder. It's still snowing 2 inches per hour as of 2 PM (MST). Much lower amounts are being reported from the ski areas with the exception of Eldora. Eldora reported 1 inch at 5 AM and updated to 4 inches at 6:30 AM. Looking at webcams and speaking to some area hotels in NED, my best guess is 4-7 inches has fallen at the ski area (That was our original forecast). I am a bit surprised to see 10-15 inches in Boulder and its still puking powder.
Early morning - Powderchaser Steve hiking at Betasso Reserve in Boulder
Snow will continue under NE winds through late tonight in the Front Range Foothills, albeit lighter intensities. There could be another 2-5 inch in the foothills by Monday morning. Snow may also pick up west of the Divide as a minor disturbance drops over most of western Colorado including Aspen and Telluride who will see very light snowfall. Radar is already picking up on this moisture. Some snow has fallen at Vail (2-3 inches) as we forecasted yesterday. Loveland and Winter Park are too far west of the heavy snow falling over the Front Range and too far east for the impulse currently over western Colorado. I am not confident about the Divide Ski resorts currently. Eldora may only see another few inches. Snow may taper this evening only to pick up again with a few remaining bands tonight. Those bands may impact areas west of the Divide. East of the Divide wil see some breaks this afternoon followed by some additional light snow tonight.
Monarch was on our wildcard list yesterday. The roads look snow covered on the webcams with the ski area cams looking like 3-6 inches. A quick check of the CAIC snowtel water equivalent on Monarch Pass shows almost an inch of water. That could mean, significantly higher amounts have fallen at the ski area. We have no official reports. I am confident that they are nabbing some freshies.
Below: Monarch Ski area webcam
Below: Monarch Pass at 2 PM MST
Heavy snow is just now starting in the New Mexico mountains near Taos. Winds go from NW, NE, to East during this storm cycle putting lots of mystery in amounts (Shifting winds and orographics). I am going bullish for Taos, Ski Santa Fe, and Angel Fire! Assuming that the wind direction does not impede the western side of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains there should be heavy snowfall Sunday night into Monday. The very high elevation of Taos could score 11-18 inches by Monday mid-morning. If I were in chase mode, I would be headed to New Mexico right now.
The Caveat: WInd directions are still not clear for who sees the heaviest snow and my expertise is lacking a bit with who does best with NE and East winds. It's time to rely on old-school chase tools (Cameras, Hotel front desk clerks, Radar). Radar is currently bullish for Taos! Its dumping currently! Does that answer the question?
Below: Webcam at Taos 2 PM MST (Dumping)
Let's hope this pans out for NM who has had a good start this season!
We are likely to dry out in the west next week with a decent storm on tap for northern New England.
Enjoy the powder everyone if you are in Colorado or New Mexico. The Cross Country Skating has started again for North Boulder Park!