Colorado Mountains Saw Significant Snowfall This Weekend! – 12/15/2019

A powerful storm this past weekend dumped a decent amount of snow across nearly every Colorado Ski Resort. If you were able to navigate the nightmare that has become I-70 and the challenging weather conditions, you were rewarded with power days galore!

Snapshot from late last week of storm total snowfalls for Western Colorado

Here's a quick look at how the main resorts did!

72 Hour (Through Monday Morning) Snowfall Totals From This Weekend's Storm

Ski Area Storm Total Snowfall Amount
Arapahoe Basin 24"
Aspen Snowmass 24"
Breckenridge 41"
Copper Mountain 22"
Eldora 18"
Keystone 23"
Loveland 36"
Monarch 31"
Steamboat 20"
Vail 28"
Winter Park 28"
**These are NWS reported totals and may not always agree with what is reported from the ski area

How Are We Doing This Year?

Overall snowpack is doing quite well in Colorado for this time of year. You can see the graphic below for the Colorado River Basin shows this particular basin as just slightly above average for this time of year. You'll notice that we are pretty close to where we were last year at this time and well above WY 2018 (a water year also called a hydrological year runs from October 1 - September 30 each year) which is good news!

When you look at all the other basins as a percent of average you get this:

Will This Trend Continue?

We've seen a lot of great early season snow in the hills this year and I think the pattern will continue in the short term. We will have dry periods here and there, but generally when we get a good start like this the snowpack holds pretty steady unless we see abnormally warm and/or dry conditions.

A lot of the longer range stuff I'm seeing has the year around normal to slightly below normal for snowpack. As you know, I don't put a ton of stock in forecasts more than 10 days out, but I think the year will end up doing pretty well. I can still see several chances for decent storms in the shorter range models... just how much they impact Denver and where they hit in the mountains are details we can't tell yet, but the fact that we see consistent storminess for the Western U.S. is encouraging!

 

About John R. Braddock 501 Articles
John R. Braddock is a NOAA/NWS Certified Storm Chaser and Amateur Meteorologist living in Castle Rock, Colorado. A graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and a Colorado native, he specializes in short range forecasting, severe weather and mountain weather dynamics.

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