POWDER WATCH: Winter Will Return To Colorado/Utah May 11-13 [Powderchasers]

POWDER WATCH: Winter Will Return To Colorado/Utah May 11-13 [Powderchasers]

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POWDER WATCH: Winter Will Return To Colorado/Utah May 11-13 [Powderchasers]

[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]

Significant system has been consistently been showing up on the models for late this week into the upcoming weekend.  That might bring another foot or more snow above 7500 feet to some mountain locations that are still open for the season in Utah and Colorado.  May 3rd brought 5-7 inches to the Wasatch and 15-19 inches to the Continental Divide of Colorado. Snowbird scored 14 inches on the last day of April. Conditions at Loveland, A Basin, and Winter Park (Closed yesterday), were deep with medium density snow at the summits with last weeks storm.  Currently Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, and Snowbird are still open.

Related: May Powder Day | 21 inches in 24 hours @ Mary Jane, CO 

The next system will begin to impact the Wasatch and Uinta ranges on Friday.  Confidence is decent for snowfall in Utah, especially the Uinta Range.  In the Wasatch (Snowbird), models disagree.  The GFS is showing an excess of a foot of snow through Saturday where the Euro is showing much less.  Winds on Friday will be westerly (Favorable for Snowbird) with several shifts through Saturday.  Northerly winds Saturday will favor the Uinta range east of Park City (High elevation snow). North winds may shift most of the moisture outside the Cottonwoods. NW winds are also noted during the period at times so the wildcard remains per the GFS models that Little Cottonwood score some wet pow for late Friday through Saturday. I will update this forecast mid week.

GFS showing significant snowfall for the Cottonwoods through early Saturday. Euro showing much less (We can’t share that on this post) so confidence is low at this point for a deep event. Higher confidence for moderate snowfall but even 5 days out this can fizzle.

Significant moisture, mostly in the form of rain will be falling over central and eastern Wyoming late Friday or early Saturday (Snow above 8,000 feet).  Colorado will begin to see snowfall in the mountains near the Continental Divide Friday night.  

COLORADO:  Current models look similar to the May 3rd storm for Colorado with a few caveats.  Confidence for decent moisture for most of the Front Range of Colorado are high especially on Saturday.  Confidence for deep snow west of the Front Range, specifically along I-70 near Loveland and A-Basin are too early to call this far out. We called for deep snow on the last storm earlier than normal but managed to get in the range originally forecasted (We forecasted higher amounts north of I-70. Loveland scored more than our original forecast).  This storm should deliver 1-2 inches of moisture favoring the Front Range near Boulder or Fort Collins.  Models depict a good chance of  a foot or more snow  by late Saturday in many mountain locations above 8,000 feet.  

The Good:  High Confidence for decent moisture this weekend for Colorado.

The Bad: Lower confidence on snow amounts along or south of I-70 with moderate confidence north of I-70.  Snow will be split between late Friday night and during the day Saturday (Will likely keep overnight pow down somewhat).

Wildcard: Models are somewhat similar looking to the May 3rd event , so even though my confidence is lacking on details there may still be a decent double digit event.

 Total liquid moisture for Colorado showing 2 inches in the Front Range and up to an inch further west.

Just when we were finished posting for the season, I had to dig back in for another. May snowfall is not uncommon, but to score 2 weeks in a row of double digits is definitely a bonus.  We are not saying its definitely going to happen, but will try to update as we get closer.  Meanwhile, most of us including myself, have been enjoying the warm temps and mountain biking both in Park City and the foothills outside of Boulder.  You will find mw out there this weekend if it really happens.

-Powderchaser Steve

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