It’s always more fun to write a weather forecast when there’s powder coming up, so this forecast will be a much more enjoyable read than previous week’s talk of dry and sunny weather. Three storms are going to impact the Rockies over the next week, and areas from Montana in the north to New Mexico in the south should all have a fresh coast of white paint as we head into February.
The first storm will move quickly through the northern Rockies on Thursday, bringing 2-4 or 3-6 inches to many locations in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and south through northern Colorado.
The second storm will move slowly through the southern Rockies from Friday through Saturday night. While this storm will bring with it a ton of moisture, it’ll also be a relatively warm storm, so snow levels will be high (above 9,000ft in some cases). Look to ski or ride at the highest elevations during this storm to find the coldest air. Areas in southern Utah, southern Colorado, and northern Arizona and New Mexico should see the deepest snow, with amounts totaling in the double digits at the highest elevations.
The third storm is the most complicated to forecast and will bring snow to most of the Rockies from Sunday night through Tuesday. It will initially bring flakes on Sunday to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and then will bring snow to Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico from Sunday night through Tuesday. This storm will push colder air into the Rockies, so snow levels should fall from where they were during the second storm on Saturday. Many locations will see double digits snow totals with this storm, but since the exact track is still uncertain, so are my snowfall predictions. And that’s the beauty of meteorology. While we know a lot about the weather and can forecast storms a week into the future, there’s still some mystery in the exact snow totals until the storm gets much closer.
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.