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Snowcast: Storm likely to hit Colorado on Christmas Eve
What a fantastic week it’s been for snow in Colorado.
Wolf Creek Ski Area and Monarch Mountain have received more than 50 inches during the past seven days, and most other resorts have gotten at least a foot,
The fun began two weeks ago as the overall storm track shifted. Previous storms had come ashore near California and then arced north of Colorado to hit Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia. This pattern changed last week, and the storms hit the Pacific Northwest and then headed southeast toward Colorado. This week, the pattern changed again slightly, giving the storms more of a west-to-east flow across the state.
The main point of these pattern changes is that Colorado moved from a dry pattern for almost a month to having chances of snow every few days.
The first part of this week’s storm brought southwest winds, which dumped more than 4 feet of snow on the southern San Juan Mountains at places such as Wolf Creek. The second part brought a moist westerly wind, which dumped snow on Steamboat Springs and, to a lesser extent, the Interstate 70 corridor. This part of the storm was the hardest to predict since there were no major weather features to initiate the heavy snow, such as a cold front or strong low-pressure system. However, a consistent moist wind put down at least a few inches for a few nights and a few days, and consistent snow is the best weather we can get. Finally, the third part brought a strong cold front across the entire state, which made Wednesday a powder day for most areas.
A dry weekend awaits, but the snow will return during a storm that should stretch from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. It’s still a little early to know how much snow will fall, but it does look like it’ll be a white Christmas and it could even be a powder Christmas.
What could be better?
For snow forecasts for ski areas, visit OpenSnow.com.