More snow is coming to the high country this weekend, the latest in a series of storms that began early this month and turned this season’s snowfall trend from dismal to encouraging.
OpenSnow, an independent weather forecasting and reporting service, says the northern and central mountains could receive 5 to 10 inches beginning Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. And it looks like another system will arrive on Wednesday.
December and January brought disappointing snowfall, but the storm pattern changed the first week of February, and frequent snowfall since then has helped a lot. The snowpack is still below average, but we’re catching up.
“If the next 10 days of storms deliver a reasonable amount of snow, we should maintain or even advance our position against the average, and we do have a chance of catching up if the coming storms take a favorable track,” OpenSnow meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote in Friday’s forecast.
Fourteen Colorado resorts are at 85% to 90% of their snowpack average, considerably more than was the case a month ago. Wolf Creek is at 117%, Telluride 98% and Silverton is 97%, according to OpenSnow.
The system arriving Saturday will bring the best chance for substantial snowfall until next Wednesday, Gratz reported.
“Snow showers should ramp up on Saturday afternoon, should continue on Saturday night, and then snow showers will dissipate on Sunday morning,” Gratz said. “All models still point to 5 to 10 inches as the most reasonable forecast from Saturday midday to Sunday midday. The snow will favor the northern mountains, the central mountains, and the north side of the San Juan mountains around Telluride and Silverton.
“For the amount of snow, a lot will hinge on how productive the showers are on Saturday afternoon into the evening. These showers will be intense and somewhat random — if they hit or linger over a certain mountain, snow totals will be on the higher end of the range, and vice versa.”