While January started dry, it’ll end snowy. I’ve been tracking this change in the weather pattern for over a week, and while the details are still not set in stone, it does look like the last week of January will offer powder across the I-70 corridor from Beaver Creek to Vail to Breckenridge to Keystone.
To set the stage, plentiful Pacific moisture is streaming eastward and will saturate the air over Colorado from Thursday (January 24th) through the middle of next week. While this moisture brought a few inches of snow to Tahoe and a few more inches could fall over the weekend, the main story will be snowfall in Colorado.
One weak storm will bring a few inches on Thursday night (January 24th), and another weak storm will move through southern Colorado and only bring a few inches to the Vail resorts from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.
The bigger story will be the strong storm that moves across the state on Monday night through Wednesday morning (January 30th). This is still a bit far into the future for me to provide a reliably specific forecast, but it does look likely that Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday could be nice powder days with a cold front bringing chilly air and continued snowfall for those two days. I’m not quite ready to get super excited about this possibility because some details of the storm will change between now and then. However, the trend toward snowier weather is here, and it’s OK to get a little excited even five days before a storm:-)
Thankfully, the longer-range forecasts show a snowier pattern heading into February, so it looks like the January dryness is behind us for now.
Meteorologist Joel Gratz is the founder and CEO of opensnow.com and is based in Boulder, Colo.