Mountain Weather

Date: 03/31/2018

Another dry, partly cloudy day on tap with strong westerly winds near and above treeline as a rippling disturbance over Wyoming brushes to our north. Temperatures look to climb a few degrees higher than yesterday. Looking ahead, there is a chance for light precipitation Monday and cooler temperatures as tatters of Pacific moisture are ripped off the main flow and sent inland across the Great Basin.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 41
    Winds/Direction: 15-25/W
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 26
    Winds/Direction: 5-15/W
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 43
    Winds/Direction: 5-10/W
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

Mountain Weather

Date: 03/30/2018

Yesterday’s showery snowfall along the Elk Mountain spine produced about 1″ of new snow in the Kebler and Schofield Pass areas, with winds gusting into the 20s and 30s overnight.

Clear skies will take hold as the ridge wobbles over the central Rockies. Northern Colorado may see redeveloping snowfall tonight, but the Elk Mountains should stay dry with only an increase of clouds expected. We should see 5-10º warmer temperatures across the forecast area as flow shifts from the northwest to more westerly, bringing in warmer drier air from the Great Basin and Utah desert. Looking ahead, the flow stays dry, with gradually warming temperatures through the weekend. Long term looks dry as well, with a Bering Sea ridge setting up over the Aleutian Islands and that high pressure steering significant moisture south toward Mexico.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 36
    Winds/Direction: 10-20/W
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 20
    Winds/Direction: 10-20/WNW
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 40
    Winds/Direction: 10-20/W
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

Mountain Weather March 29, 2018

Date: 03/29/2018

Last night’s dirty ridge, or moist northwest flow, left about 3″ in the high country from Irwin to Paradise Divide and along the Elk crest, tapering down to just a skiff of snow near town.
With high pressure on the Pacific Coast and Low Pressure over the Great Plains, Colorado remains in the crosshairs of a weak northwest jet stream. Today we’ll see this breezy northwest flow continue, with a few clouds and a chance for a snowflake or two in the afternoon over the high peaks.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 30
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, gusting to 30, Northwest
    Sky Cover: Increasing clouds
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 1″
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 1″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 1″

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 20
    Winds/Direction: 5 to 15 West Northwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Clear
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 37
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, gusting to 30, West
    Sky Cover: Mostly Clear
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

Mountain Weather March 28, 2018

Date: 03/28/2018

A weak low pressure system ran through southern Colorado yesterday into New Mexico last night. Now we sit in the northwest flow on the backside of that trough for the next couple days. There’s enough moisture embedded in this breezy Northwest flow that we’ll see a few orographically driven showers this afternoon and evening. Accumulations will be greatest over the high peaks of the Ruby Range and the Elk Mountains. Not much if any snow for town.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 31
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, gusting to 30 in PM, Northwest
    Sky Cover: Overcast
    Irwin Snow: 2 to 4″ this evening
    Elkton Snow: 2 to 4″ this evening
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 3 to 5″ this evening

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 10
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, gusting to 30, Northwest
    Sky Cover: Overcast
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 1″
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 1″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 1″

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 32
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, Northwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

Mountain Weather

Date: 03/27/2018

Split flow continues with the polar jet moving moisture to our north, and a closed low pressure to our south spinning wrap around moisture onto the Front Range and east facing Sawatch. Just as a late night spring breaker stumbles toward home, the closed low spins off toward Oklahoma throughout the day. Weak northwest flow brings broken pieces of moisture into our area mountains but accumulations will remain light. Unsettled weather and mild temperatures continue through the week, but no single precipitation band looks too significant.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 33
    Winds/Direction: 5-15/E
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 1-3″
    Elkton Snow: 1-3″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 1-3″

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 15
    Winds/Direction: 5-15/NNW
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0-1″
    Elkton Snow: 0-1″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0-1″

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 33
    Winds/Direction: 5-15/NW
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0-2″
    Elkton Snow: 0-2″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0-2″

Mountain Weather

Date: 03/26/2018

A complicated storm system is splintering across the Great Basin today, and uncertainty remains about how much snowfall we can expect in the Elk Mountains. Scattered snow showers can be expected, but accumulations will likely remain minimal. Westerly winds will kick above treeline today with this passing front and temperatures should reach the low 30s. If I had a day off, I might roll over to the Monarch Pass area tomorrow as a wrap around moisture component could favor the Sangre de Cristos and Sawatch. More unsettled weather arrives on favorable northwest flow Wednesday afternoon.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 32
    Winds/Direction: 10-20/WSW
    Sky Cover: Increasing clouds
    Irwin Snow: 0-2″
    Elkton Snow: 0-2″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0-2″

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 13
    Winds/Direction: 5-15/N
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0-1″
    Elkton Snow: 0-1″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0-1″

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 33
    Winds/Direction: 5-15/N
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 1-3″
    Elkton Snow: 1-3″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 1-3″

Mountain Weather March 25, 2018

Date: 03/25/2018

Today will begin mostly sunny and warm, but clouds will be on the increase this afternoon. Southwest flow will be in place in front of the next system that remains off the west coast. Temperatures should be slightly cooler than yesterday. As clouds build it may be possible for a few snowflakes to fall in the area especially to the north of town. Expect winds to increase throughout the day.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 35
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Increasing clouds
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 1
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 1
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 1

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 18
    Winds/Direction: 7 to 17, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 1
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 1
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 1

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 30
    Winds/Direction: 5 to 15, West Southwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 1
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 1
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 1

Mountain Weather March 24, 2018

Date: 03/24/2018

“The Dude,” our name for the storm that lingered on the coast for a week, and rolled through the Elk Mountains yesterday, bowled a resounding strike. Schofield recorded 2.4″ of water and field team from the Grand Traverse reported close to two feet of new snow. In short, the crest of the Elk Mountains got pounded.
Temperatures dropped to the teens last night, but this morning the sun will crank the temps back above freezing quickly. By this afternoon, the increasing southwest winds will usher in high clouds ahead of a weak system clipping Colorado on Sunday.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 40
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Increasing clouds
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 20
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 35
    Winds/Direction: 20 to 30, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 2″
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 2″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 2″

Mountain Weather, March 23, 2018

Date: 03/23/2018

Last night, the National Weather Service described this storm as holding record-breaking levels of moisture for a late March storm. The hitch is that the storm lacks the uplift and cooling necessary to drive historic snowfall.
That said, a lot of water has fallen out of the sky and there’s more on the way this morning. Current snowfall totals above 11,000′ range from 6″ to 8″ as of 6am, but that snow contains over an inch of water, meaning it’s unusually dense snow. The highest precipitation rates of this storm are yet to come, with a rager of a blizzard this morning above treeline.
By early afternoon, the storm will taper off, just in time for a sharp uptick in Westerly winds for the afternoon.
The good news for the Grand Traversers is that tonight, the winds will die down, temperatures will cool, making for an incredibly pleasant ski running conditions. Given the high moisture content in this snow, don’t forget to wax your skins.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 32, falling throughout the day
    Winds/Direction: 20 to 30, gusting to 50 in the PM
    Sky Cover: Overcast
    Irwin Snow: 10″ to 12″
    Elkton Snow: 10″ to 12″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 8″ to 10″

    In downtown Crested Butte, we’ll be lucky to pick up 2″ of dense snow.

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 10, colder above 12,000′
    Winds/Direction: 5 to 10, West
    Sky Cover: Partly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 35
    Winds/Direction: 10 to 20, gusting to 30, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Mostly Cloudy
    Irwin Snow: 0
    Elkton Snow: 0
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0

Mountain Weather March 22, 2018

Date: 03/22/2018

“The Dude,” our beloved closed low parked on the coast this last week, steps up to the lane to bowl his final frame over the next few days. Today into Friday it looks like he’s going to throw a spare, leaving a few pins standing until Monday when he’ll try to finish up with a final bowling ball of a closed low.
Warm southwest flow ushers in a heaping pile of moisture today, with little storm organization or lifting mechanisms required for significant precipitation. It’s not until tonight when a weak cold front arrives that we’ll see temperatures drop and bowling pins falling from the sky. Below 11,000′ there’s a good chance any precip will be rain.
Tonight and Tomorrow morning, the storm will rage above 12,000′ with the precipitation intensity rapidly diminishing at lower elevations. Across the CBAC forecast area, we’ll see huge variations in snowfall totals, with only a few wet inches in town and as much as two feet in isolated areas along the Elk Crest.  That variation will be due to both the convective nature of the storm, with strong isolated cells, and also the elevation gradient, where we’ll see much more snow up high.  For the GT folks, the models are showing about a foot for Star and Taylor passes, but the storm could exceed those numbers anywhere a convective thunder-cell pops. By mid-day Friday, the storm will taper off, leaving temps in the low 20’s and a light breeze for race night.

  • Today

    High Temperature: 40
    Winds/Direction: 5 to 15, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Overcast
    Irwin Snow: 0 to 2″
    Elkton Snow: 0 to 2″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 0 to 2″

  • Tonight

    Low Temperature: 30
    Winds/Direction: 20 to 30, gusting to 50, Southwest
    Sky Cover: Overcast
    Irwin Snow: 5 to 8″
    Elkton Snow: 5 to 8″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 5 to 8″

  • Tomorrow

    High Temperature: 35
    Winds/Direction: 20-30, gusting to 40 West Southwest
    Sky Cover: Overcast
    Irwin Snow: 6 to 8″
    Elkton Snow: 6 to 8″
    Friend’s Hut Snow: 6 to 8″