Weekend Storm Summary

There were not too many surprises with this weekend’s storm. Snow began Thursday night and continued on and off into Saturday evening.  A few flurries lingered into Sunday, but overall accumulations were on the light side, particularly for points east of the Peak to Peak highway. The winds blew predominantly from the west during this storm event, and this resulted in downsloping east of the Continental Divide while buckets of snow fell on the west side of the divide. Locations such as Winter Park rang  in with nearly 2.5 feet of snow from Thursday into Sunday. It was not snowing the entire time. It came in waves of light to moderate snow (by the way, skiing was great there on Friday!) On our side of the Divide, Nederland totaled about 7 inches of snow Thursday night through Saturday night. Our home is about 4 miles east of Nederland and at about the same elevation, but we are farther from the Divide. I only measured 3.4 inches for the entire snow event. We can and often do get more snow than town during upslope snowstorms, but we always get less when the winds are blowing from the west off of the Divide. A quick look at the Snotels in the Indian Peaks shows generally 10 to 15 inches of snow fell from University Camp to Lake Eldora. This was a windy storm as well. Although not damaging, the winds did make it feel very cold for those who did venture into the outdoors.

The remainder of the storm will scoot well to our south tonight bring accumulating snow to southeastern Colorado, but no more than a few flurries for us in the Front Range Foothills. Cold air (it is after all mid December) will stay with us at least through Tuesday. Highs on Monday in Ned and the surrounding Foothills communities will only be in the 20-25 F range with lows in the 10-15 F range. There will be a slight warm up on Wednesday before another shot of cold air pays us a visit on Thursday and Friday.  A ridge of high pressure will build over us on Saturday and Sunday, and right now it looks like daytime temperatures will soar in the mid 40s F, some 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.  It does not look like we will be seeing any precipitation through Sunday, and so this will be a week of relatively dull and uneventful weather. However … If you are headed into the Indian Peaks, particularly at or above 10000 feet, it will be very windy particularly on Tuesday and again on Thursday. Be prepared for blowing snow and low wind chills in those locations.

Some of the long range models are hinting a storm system right around Christmas, but this is too far off to lend much credence to. Here in Nederland, we have snow on the ground about 80% of the time for Christmas, or 8 out of 10 years.  This year is tricky because we are going to have to rely on the snow we have on the ground not melting before Christmas. I think north facing slopes have a shot at this, but most of the snow should melt on southern exposures. We’ll keep you posted…



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