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December 02, 2018 – Aspen and Western Colorado Short/ Long Range Outlook
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COLD across western Colorado Monday and Tuesday, lingering very light snow Monday, plenty of sun on Tuesday, warming Wednesday, dense moisture-laden snow late Thursday and Friday, mostly light for Aspen-Snowmass, lighter for northern resorts like Winter Park, and HEAVY for southwest Colorado, then a mostly sunny weekend.!

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-What a season start! The snow and conditions have been amazing! For this week: Today and Tuesday look COLD, with instability and lingering snow showers at times today, but more sunshine on Tuesday. Not much wind means that the cold will not feel too bad, and sunshine on Tuesday will feel really nice, while cold air preserves the snowpack and keeps conditions great! See below for the latest Aspen conditions...

1 foot of snow in the last 72 hours, 9" in the last 48 hours... This is Aspen-Snowmass from Sunday closing:
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Here is the snow outlook from the GFS, for today and Tuesday (light today, none or very isolated tomorrow, snow, if any, mainly in the morning):

Here is the snow outlook from the GFS, for Thursday and Friday, with the storm taking a southern track, El Nino style, 6 to 12" for favored spots, maybe 12+ to 18" for Wolf Creek Thursday and Friday under a moist southwest flow of moisture across the mountains. This will be dense and wet/ heavy snow, with a subtropical moisture tap, and milder air than we have seen, snow levels to 8,000 feet late Thursday from the San Juan Mountains to Aspen-Snowmass (though all snow for Aspen, base to top):

Here is what Thursday afternoon should look like, with a good subtropical moisture tap, producing milder, moist and dense snowfall Thursday through Friday, which will take potential snow totals down a notch as water to snow ratios approach 1:8 and 1:10, 1-4" for Aspen, 12+" for Wolf Creek, 6+" for Telluride...


This coming weekend we expect a high pressure ridge to build in, with colder air dragged into Colorado as the southern tracking low pressure system exits (northwest/ north flow of winds from the colder north), and sunshine pops through in the then drier air... Powder + sunshine, what Colorado is known for!

It looks like El Nino is not an official anomaly yet, as I expected in my September LR forecast (for Aspen and SW Colorado / For northern Colorado resorts) so we are in an ENSO Neutral phase, though in the latest update from NOAA, we are seeing warming waters, still a weak El Nino at best. This may explain the more southerly tracking storm systems we have seen, and will likely see in the coming weeks of December and January. CM

Next week, the 11th onward, we expect a couple of snow storms and some moderate to significant snow for southwest Colorado and light to moderate for Aspen (lighter for Vail and northern resorts, though Breckenridge does see more benefit from a more direct southerly flow than the rest of Summit/ Grand County areas, so it could be more moderate there) to return. Because these look like strong and cold systems (ask Niseko, Japan) they are still capable of good snowfall across all of western Colorado if the track is right (a bit more north). It looks like 2 storms total for next week, one mid-week and another late week. CM

(NO CHANGE from the last LR update) : We expect a slow down and more sunshine as we approach the Christmas and New Year holiday period, but there will still be some storm energy at times for some fresh snow during the holiday break. More details as we move closer... In January storms should kick in again on a more regular basis, but possibly favoring northern resorts this time as the east coast gets hit hard and these systems brush mainly northern Colorado. More updates are coming. Do you have any ideas on what you want to see in our discussions? Please contact through the site! We do not charge for any of our info, and have been providing it all for free since 1998, "Predicting Sick Days since 1998"! CM
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