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Colorado Weather Forecast | Apr. 2–11, 2021

Dry and warm, but some snow, precip, thunderstorm, and strong wind concerns next week.

Header photo: Thomas Horner

Our last significant snow storm was from Monday evening to Tuesday. The convergence of moisture, and thus heaviest band of snow, set up exactly where models expected. This ended up being robust and persistent, delivering a nice powder day to most resorts near I-70 on Tuesday morning!

Unfortunately, our snowpack is melting out as we see warm and dry conditions for the foreseeable future. Expect the black line to trend down:

(via NRCS)

We posted this graph last time, but it’s worth reiterating: areas that have decent snowpack are undergoing rounding, which is consolidating the snowpack. Big ski mountaineering objectives are in our imminent future, but depending on your risk tolerance, we’re not there yet. The latest forecast from the CAIC says “solid spring stability is still a long way out.”

Snowpack temperature gradient at Wolf Creek. (via HighpointWx.com)

That said, the high temperatures this week will make wet avalanches a major concern, so plan your snow travel around the melt-freeze cycle.

Beautiful Spring Weather: Saturday to Monday

Much of the West will be under strong ridging this weekend.

(via Pivotal Weather)

There’s a very weak low ducking under this ridge, which wont do much in Colorado besides create a low potential for isolated thunderstorms in the San Juans and Sangres this evening. Any showers that fall from these weak cells will be in the form of snow.

Otherwise, this weekend and Monday will feature calm winds, blazing sun (with cumulus activity each afternoon due to convection), and warm temperatures. According to our website, temperatures will be above freezing each day, even at 13,000ft.

(via WeatherBell)

Down on the Front Range, temperatures will get well into the 70s and some areas, including Denver, could hit the 80s. In the foothills, many locations below 8,000ft will have no problem getting into the 60s. Many record high temperatures have a chance of being broken from Saturday to Monday. For instance, Denver’s record high temperature for April 4th is 76 degrees, which looks likely to be beaten by several degrees.

Windy and Unsettled: Tuesday to Thursday

The high temperatures back off as we get into next week, as a weak system sweeps north of the state on Tuesday and stalls out a bit.

(via Pivotal Weather)

This shows up nicely on the ensemble cross-sections. This chart of temperatures in Denver below shows uncertainty increasing quite a bit after Monday, with temperatures considerably lower:

(via ESRL)

On Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures will likely be 10–20 degrees colder than they were this weekend, with only a slow recovery into next weekend. The latest run of the Euro weather model shows some large-scale lift from the jet, which would mean snow chances on Tuesday and/or Wednesday morning, at least in northern Colorado.

(via Pivotal Weather)

Overall though, upper-level support is not that great, nor is moisture, so we’re not looking at a major snow storm. Perhaps 1–5" in the Park Range (Steamboat) and 0–4" in the rest of northern Colorado, though right now, most solutions are leaning towards almost no snow at all.

(via Pivotal Weather)

That said, this system has come in significantly stronger and slower on the latest model runs, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. We’ll issue a more specific snow forecast later this weekend if a storm is still in the cards by then.

Along the Divide, we will likely see isolated lightning activity on Tuesday afternoon, with the Front Range picking up a thunderstorm or two later that day.

Perhaps the largest impact will be the winds. Gusts will increase throughout the high country on Tuesday (gusts up to 50mph) before intensifying further on Wednesday, especially along the Divide (gusts up to 80mph), and remaining strong through Thursday (gusts up to 50mph). These gusts will step down to the foothills and high plains on Wednesday, with 40+mph gusts possible along the I-25 corridor.

(via Pivotal Weather)

Forecast: Next Weekend

Ridging returns on Friday for a day or two, but things get fairly unclear after that. Most ensembles don’t have a strong ridging signal by Sunday, but also have no real grasp on what sort of systems or storms we may be looking at by the start of that following week.

A meteogram of the Euro ensemble’s snow forecast for Berthoud Pass does reflect the potential for snow by Sunday/Monday, but there doesn’t look to be any solution that has this as a particularly strong event.

(via WeatherBell)

What this does show is that the pattern becomes more unsettled by the end of the weekend, and though this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a large snow storm, it does open the door for one. Either way, it doesn’t look as likely for the entirety of next weekend to be as pleasant as this weekend, so keep that in mind if you’re planning any trips.

Forecast by
Thomas Horner (Twitter: @thomaschorner)

Website and app with automated, high-resolution forecasts for mountains, climbing areas, and ski resorts (+ backcountry) with elevation switcher, uncertainty visualization, and more:

Frequent updates, graphics, and general stoke:
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook: @highpointwx

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Weather forecasts and articles for the recreating in the Colorado high country — mountains, ski resorts, and crags.

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Highpoint Weather Forecasting Team

Highpoint Weather Forecasting Team

The Highpoint Weather forecasting team — weather nerds who like to play outside.

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