Mountain Weather

Date: 12/23/2015

Well, the weather forecast actually verified and we weren’t skunked again! The first major winter storm will get one final push of moisture that will increase snow coverage around mid day for a quick 2-4″, but higher terrain could still see continuing light to moderate orographic snowfall into the afternoon, and through the next several days. Winds will be gusty today but should slowly taper at all elevations tonight. Look for clear skies during the day on Thursday, before another storm takes aim on Colorado Christmas Eve night. Santa will need Rudolph’s nose this year!

Mountain Weather

Date: 12/22/2015

Overnight and through today we have all the ingredients of a major winter storm (the first of a series this week) coming together. The “left exit region” of a 160 knot jet stream will punch the Elk Mountains square in the nose, bringing significant upper level support to a cold, ultra saturated atmosphere hovering near seasonal extremes for moisture content. Add in 13,000 foot mountains for added lift and we have the makings of a doozy. Snow could be fairly dense, and the winds will average 10-20 mph but gust into the 50 mph range closer to timberline. Look for snow to taper tonight into tomorrow, only to intensify Wednesday afternoon through Christmas Day.

Mountain Weather 12/21/15

Date: 12/21/2015

Yesterday’s snow accumulations far exceeded forecasted amounts with a fairly wide range of accumulations reported across the area. Several factors came together yesterday to create more lift then expected as we saw some high snowfall rates. A quick moving disturbance will be exiting our area this morning, kind of like a small wiggle in the flow. We’ll stay in westerly flow after this disturbance but will lose much of the instability in its wake, relying more solely on orographic snowfall this afternoon. So we should be seeing light snow showers or a break in the weather around mid-day today. Heading into Tuesday things really get exciting as the Jet Stream moves over head. Bringing a good tap of moisture on westerly flow while creating good instability. So we’ll have moisture, lots of lift, and good orographic flow. That means snow folks!

Mountain Weather 12/20/15

Date: 12/20/2015

A small trough will bring a return to light snow showers today. Winds last night were forecasted to be fairly strong above treeline and those westerly winds will continue today. A few other very small disturbances or wiggles in the flow will keep us in unsettled weather heading toward Tuesday. Around the Tuesday time frame, the jet stream moves over Colorado while pulling in good pacific moisture. Snowfall accumulations will start ramping up with the arrival of the jet and this moisture.

Mountain Weather 12/19/15

Date: 12/19/2015

A the high pressure ridge axis moves east of us today, we will see warm southwest flow ahead of the first in a series of Pacific waves. Mountain temperatures will climb into the 30’s above valley inversions today with clear skies. Tomorrow, a poorly organized cold front swings in from the northwest, bringing showery snowfall beginning midday. Accumulations should be less than a few inches by sunset. Unsettled weather continues early next week before a more powerful system arrives Tuesday into Wednesday. Details to come.

Mountain Weather 12/18/15

Date: 12/18/2015

High pressure is rebuilding over Colorado, bringing clear skies and rebounding temperatures through Saturday. Temps have already risen 10 degrees overnight in town, and we should see them reach the mid to upper 20’s today in the mountains and into the 30’s tomorrow under warm air advection. A series of Pacific waves will begin to impact our region beginning late Saturday night. Sunday’s system looks poorly organized, but it will signal the start of a snowy week.

Mountain Weather 12/17/15

Date: 12/17/2015

This morning we are on the back edge of a shortwave trough that is responsible for our most recent overnight snow accumulations. By about 11am this morning our overnight totals should be in the 3-5” range for the more favored mountains west of Crested Butte. West to northwest winds looks to ramp up a little this morning as well. Snow showers look to decrease this afternoon as available moisture dissipates through the day. Friday through Saturday a shallow ridge builds bringing dryer conditions and warming high temperatures. We’ll see a return to stormy weather on Sunday.

Mountain Weather 12/16/15

Date: 12/16/2015

The last low pressure has moved off to the east while cold air remains in place today under northwest flow. We may see a few orographic showers today, but there isn’t much moisture to see anything exiting. Mostly we’ll be dealing with cloudy skys. Wednesday night into Thursday morning, a wave in this northwest flow combined with some other lifting mechanisms and more available moisture will bring good snowfall to northern Colorado. Our area is a bit south of the better looking snowfall, but we should still see a few more inches of snow arrive with increased northwest winds. A small ridge starts building Thursday night bringing dryer weather and slowly rebounding temperatures over the following days.

Mountain Weather 12/15/15

Date: 12/15/2015

The closed low that is responsible for our current weather has moved over Colorado and is about to start its journey up to the Great Lakes. Our best shots for enhanced snowfall have mostly passed, with Irwin doing ok, but we just missed out on a better band of snow to our north, where Snowmass is waking up to about 12” this morning. Available moisture is now starting a drying trend but Colorado is transiting to northwest flow behind this low. This is a more favorable orographic flow for us. So today we should see continued light snowfall with accumulating snow mostly west and north of Crested Butte. Then snow showers will become more scattered tonight and into Wednesday with little accumulating snow during that period.

Mountain Weather 12/14/15

Date: 12/14/2015

The Pacific trough closes off over Utah today, issuing deep moisture into our region under southwest flow. Snowfall looks to kick off late this afternoon with a couple of inches possible before sunset, and gets a boost as a weak cold front arrives tonight. Flow swings around to the northwest as the low moves overhead into Tuesday. The combination of deep moisture and northwest flow does well for Kebler Pass and Paradise Divide, and we could see up to a foot of new snow by Tuesday evening in these areas, with half of that closer to town.