One week ago, prospects for heavy snow in the Rockies didn’t look good. The incoming storm was on track to split into two, weaker systems. But that was a forecast, and what actually happened was quite different.
The storm did indeed split into two pieces, but the southern piece wound up providing more snow than forecast for Utah and Colorado, with 8-18" falling over those states on Friday.
Then a moist flow from the northwest covered Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado over the weekend, and it produced snow in substantial amounts. Big Sky and Bridger Bowl in Montana reported 20-25", Jackson Hole in Wyoming saw 15", and in Colorado, Steamboat had the highest three-day total of 24", with Vail on its heels at 20" inches.
One final storm will hit the northern Rockies on Christmas Eve day and will then exit the area by Christmas Day. In its wake conditions will remain fun but significant new snow looks unlikely through the end of 2013 and into early 2014. But of course real life can turn out different than the forecast, and if the forecast changes, the best chance of snow will be in the northern Rockies from Montana south to Wyoming and Colorado. Do your snow dance!
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.