Significantly colder temps are going to drop down into the Rockies this weekend producing widespread snowfall in many areas of the Rockies. The highest amounts are likely going to land in central Montana and Wyoming before nailing the Front Range of Colorado by Sunday morning. Loveland Ski area opens today! The 3rd resort to open for the season!
One storm departs the Rockies, while the next one is going to enter BC by Friday night. Light to moderate snowfall will be falling in much of eastern British Columbia Friday night/Saturday that quickly departs on Saturday. Very cold temps will follow the front. Montana highlights are likely be in Glacier National Park, with a quick hitting 4-10 inches by late Saturday. Whitefish will also see snowfall, with lighter amounts than its neighbors to the east.
This trough quickly makes its course through central Wyoming midday Saturday producing the heaviest snowfall east of the Tetons. The heaviest amounts may may fall in the Absaroka, Big Horns, and the Wind River ranges. Red Lodge Mountain Ski area is a wildcard pick for Sunday morning. The Jackson area will see snowfall with lighter amounts. The Wasatch is also going to be grabbing some powder late Saturday night, albeit amounts will be on the light side.
Colorado stands the best shot of seeing significant snowfall that peaks early morning Sunday/Monday. Currently the models show a similar set up to the last system that landed 4-8 inches in Summit County and a winning 14 inches at Eldora (Closest the Front Range) last Wednesday night.
Below: Photo: @dabbfatter via instagram- Powder tracks at Berthoud Pass near Winter Park Thursday.
Below: The incoming cold front enters Colorado late Saturday night kicking off snow with it's arrival
Whats different about the incoming system is much colder air, and high snow ratios (15-20:1- Liquid to snow). Expect heavy snow to be falling Sunday morning at many ski areas in Colorado with the highest amounts found near the Front Range (Breckenridge, Loveland, A-Basin, Eldora, Keystone, Monarch). Moisture will be widespread, so areas west of Summit County will also see a return to winter like conditions. Wolf Creek, and even Taos will be grabbing some freshies late this weekend. The highest amounts might land in Summit, Boulder, or Grand County by late Sunday.
Wind directions are key to orographics, especially in Colorado. When I look at the models currently at 10K feet the directions take many shifts this weekend (NW, W, N, NE, NW with SW in the southern part of the State). This gives me lower confidence in pinpointing the highest amounts at this point. This might explain why the mountains west of the Divide did pretty well on the last storm with NW winds initially before shifting more N. or NE on the backside. Regardless, it's likely that a large area of Colorado reap powder late this weekend. Amounts will be narrowed in on the next forecast.
A-Basin, Loveland, Keystone Sunday (2-5 inches on the snow report) with additional snow Sunday/Monday (7-14 inches by Monday). These amounts will be updated as we get closer. Its likely you will be storm skiing (Moderate snow falling) during your runs Sunday.
The extended forecast continues with an unsettled, cold and somewhat unsettled pattern into mid next week for the Rockies.
A brief break is noted late this weekend in the west before a 2nd system drops in from the north late Monday and Tuesday. This system is weaker but still has decent snow ratios (Cold air). This will kick off another round of light or moderate snow for the Northern -Rockies, especially for Colorado on Monday night and Tuesday. Its not overly moist, but with decent cold air its possible that some surprise numbers creep up slowly (No single deep event) by Wednesday.
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