Mountain Weather February 19, 2015

Date: 02/19/2015

Another beautiful, sunny day with some increasing high clouds is in store for today, but let’s jump ahead to the real excitement – this weekend. A shortwave from the Pacific Northwest dives across the Northern Rockies on Friday. Clouds thicken overnight, and snowfall kicks off sometime late Friday afternoon as the associated cold front marches north to south across the state. A reinforcing wave arrives on Saturday, contributing to a prolonged period of snowfall through Sunday. Model runs keep pushing the snowfall further east of us, and its looking like a ruler will suffice for the Elk Mountains, whereas a yardstick might be more useful for a few lucky spots on or east of the Continental Divide. A closed low splits west off of the trough on Sunday, with potential for continued snowfall through Monday.

Mountain Weather February 18th, 2015

Date: 02/18/2015

The high pressure ridge to our west will steer us through dry and mild weather over the next two days. The ridge begins to broaden and flatten through the week, allowing the storm track to dive over Colorado this weekend.  Models are still spread out on how the storm evolves, but we should see some amount of snowfall starting Friday night through Sunday. Stay tuned!

Mountain Weather February 17, 2015

Date: 02/17/2015

It’s going to feel like real winter outside.  A jet streak will nose over Colorado today, bringing strong winds out of the northwest, with alpine wind chills dipping into negative digits. The notorious high pressure ridge begins to rebuild and then flattens over the west coast, shifting the storm track east again, and bringing warmer weather and clearing skies through Wednesday and Thursday. The chance for more snowfall returns by this weekend as another storm tracks over the state from the Northwest.

Mountain Weather February 16, 2015

Date: 02/16/2015

Yesterdays forecasts where for the storm track to pass by to our east. Weather discussions this morning are hinting at that storm track moving slightly more west which will help us see some snow today. Accumulations will still be light as most moisture is east of our mountains. We may see some additional orographic snow on the western and northern boundaries of our forecast area, but that may be wishful thinking. The blocking ridge responsibly for the dry weather we’ve seen in January and February begins rebuilding on Tuesday. Leading us into a warming and drying trend through the week. Longer range, it looks like we’ll see another chance for snow next weekend but we’ll have to wait for more details on that.

Mountain Weather February 15, 2015


The weather is changing as we’ll be on the edge of two shortwave disturbances. Forecasts have been jumping around on their estimated track of these shortwaves and how they track will determine weather or not we see much snow. Currently the first disturbance will mostly affect Northern Colorado on Sunday night. The 2nd disturbance arriving Monday looks better as it pushes farther south into Colorado, but favors the mountains to our east and mostly affecting the Continental Divide. Both of these shortwaves are arriving on Norwest flow, so we may luck out with some better orographic snow in the mountains west of Crested Butte. We’ll see increasingly clouds today and decreased high temperatures during this period.

Mountain Weather Forecast for Saturday, February 14th, 2015


Okay! Now we’re talking… There is hope. We will see another very warm day with clear skies and light winds. Temperatures near 11,000ft look to approach 45ºF today, ahead of a colder disturbance clipping our area Sunday and Monday. The models were once showing the ridge centered farther East, shunting any moisture from reaching us, now centers it farther west, allowing cold, moist air to create some snow potential Sunday evening and Monday. Still quite a lot of uncertainty, and time will tell.

Mountain Weather for Friday, February 13th, 2015

Date: 02/13/2015

Today, look for mostly clear skies, light winds, and temperatures pushing 40 degrees.

The Baja Low has re-established itself over, well, Baja once again…and that damn high pressure has strengthen over the western half of the United States…again. But…there is a war being waged in the Gulf of Alaska, as a firehose of Pacific moisture is bombarding the dome of high pressure and something has to give eventually. Early next week..the good guys finally prevail, and moisture begins to sneak its way into the Great Basin, along with colder temperatures. This may be the beginning of a larger scale pattern change…but we’ll humbly oblige with a few inches of snow to get things going around Tuesday.

Mountain Weather February 12, 2015

Date: 02/12/2015

About this date last year my back blew out from shoveling out from our 10-day huge storm. This year, my back is only slightly irritated from the sunburns from lounging on my deck. Its little things like this we can be thankful for as high pressure takes hold through the rest of the week, bringing a few clouds and slightly cooler temperatures than we’ve grown accustomed to. Don’t give up hope though, because models are agreeing on a return to active, winter weather around Sunday or Monday. Better late than never, February.

Mountain Weather February 11, 2015

Date: 02/11/2015

If you are looking for fresh powder, Monarch got 7″ and it is still snowing there. Drive east. The trough responsible for this snowfall is pushing south across the eastern part of the state, bringing upslope snowfall but leaving our Elk Mountains on the leeward and dry side of the storm. Mild and generally dry conditions will accompany the high pressure that builds into the Great Basin and over Colorado through the rest of the week.

Mountain Weather February 10, 2015

Date: 02/10/2015

A band of moisture and a cool front is moving southward from Northern Colorado early this morning. As it passes over the Elk Mountain, we will hopefully see an inch or two or snow, but there could be convective component that brings localized heavier showers. The NOAA discussion this morning mentioned the threat of an isolated lightning strike. As if we don’t have enough concerns to deal with this time of year in the mountains. The trough retreats and closes off to our southwest on Wednesday, bringing upslope dynamics to our east and a faint chance for some light spill-over snowfall. High pressure returns under dry northwest flow for the remainder of the week, bringing back warmer than normal temperatures.