Richard Rogers, R2
Not much to report on the new and upcoming. So lets unravel the past.
86″ in the last 10 days! A memorable amount of wind and temperatures that kept puffy jackets close by and the goretex in an almost endless cycle of warm-dry-wet-warm-wet-cold. This past Sunday-Tuesday morning was a big hit to the whole state. Monarch, Crested Butte, and Arapahoe Basin either closed early or didn’t open during this cycle due to operational safety and/or road closures for avalanche concern.
I dig back into my memory and I recall the winter season of 07-08. My first season at Ol’ Monarch Mountain. That season was labeled ‘historical’. It was a late opening mid Dec.(12ish or 16ish). It started snowing and really never stopped. The sun was able to poke through only a few days during the season. I started counting the days the sun was out instead of how many days it snowed cause it was snowing all the time. It was a relief to wake up and hear that Monarch only received 3-6″ of new snow overnight instead of the avg. 10-14″ overnight. I also recall asking “I know it snows in Colo. but is it like this all the time?” Someone replied “Most of the time, yeah, but it can be pretty dry too”. Oook thanks, thats a nice general statement. That season ran a week later than scheduled. Monarch closed mid-late April with 484″ for the season and 108″ base on closing day. 108″ BASE ON CLOSING!!! It snowed another 60-80″ after closing!
We have seen huge individual snow events, huge YTD(season) snow totals, dry spells and warm spells. This happens, its natures way of balancing out the whole world in the big picture. California has been dry and just got more water than they can handle right now, but I bet they’re still in a “drought” come summer time.
These past two weeks have been notable. 86″ in 10 days, but, historical? Maybe, why yes, yes it could be. Historical amount of snow/water equivalent(SWE) in the current snowpack just from these past storms in two weeks. I recall 2015-16 season christmas storm. Received 50+” of snow in 4 days. It was much lighter density snow, 3-5″ of SWE, so it was easier to manage. 2013, we had a storm that dropped 26″ in 24hrs. Most of that fell overnight so none skied it and it was “blower” just under 2″ of total SWE. These past 10 days have left us with over 8″ of SWE.
So I now have an answer for folks that ask “have we seen this before?” NO, not during my time here.
But have we seen snow events close to this? YES.
Has the highway closed like this before? Well, yes every year actually but not as long of stretches.
A friend of mine reminded me once that just 3″ of snow a day over a whole winter season would turn out to be an above avg. snow year. Just ponder that for a moment. 3″ a day, thats all it takes!(theres a joke in there somewhere)
My previous forecasts showed more snow falling wednesday and wed. night. Which turned out to not be. But instead, most of that forecast should have been for today and tonight. Either I didn’t subtract 7hrs from UTC time or this current storm delayed a few hrs. Either way snow will continue today with 4-8″ new snow total.
Expect light snow through the weekend and partly sunny to start next week.