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By Meteorologist Chris Bianchi
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
It’s the final week of the ski season, and we’re looking at a snowy closing weekend!
Not only are we looking at some snow for closing day, but we could be looking at plenty of it.
We’ll have a calm week filled with sunshine and bluebird conditions for the most part, so let’s skip straight ahead to Thursday night. Then, we’ll notice increasing clouds ahead of our next storm system, and one that could lead to our snowy closing weekend.
We’ll see some snow showers around the mountain during the day on Friday, but I’m not expecting much accumulation with this first fast-moving system. This is looking like we’ll see maybe an inch or two of snow on Friday (shown below) before things briefly wind down on Saturday morning.
We’ll have lots of cloud cover and a few flurries on Saturday before our next (and more significant) snow starts up later on Saturday. We should wake up to several inches of fresh powder by Sunday morning, and the snow will be heaviest during the first half of closing day! The final first chair of the season is looking like an absolute can’t-miss.
That said, there are a couple of tricky components to this forecast: How quickly does this storm move through, and how much Pacific energy makes it to Colorado? Right now, this is looking like at least an Advisory-level event (in reference to Winter Weather Advisories issued by the National Weather Service, usually for six or more inches of snow). The upper level dynamics to this storm are strong, with the jet stream funneling in plenty of Pacific moisture (shown below). While this is only looking like a 12-to-18 hour storm, strong forcing should put us in line for around a half foot of snow by the time this system ends later Sunday.
The European model in particular has been going crazy on this storm, with it showing over a foot of accumulation by Sunday night. This is certainly one that bears watching, and I’ll file an update if need be later this week!
Your drives on both Friday and Sunday are looking slick, especially if you’re coming in from the north. Even 285 will likely see snow both days, so give yourself extra time if you’re coming in from the Front Range.
Keep those snow dances going for one more week – Sunday could be a great powder day, and what great timing for it!
I really appreciate you all following this blog all season, and I look forward to tracking more powder days next season and beyond.
Have a great summer!
- Meteorologist Chris Bianchi