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Epic snowfall in the Colorado mountains

Posted by Richard on December 22, 2010

Last week, I mentioned that this year's La Niña was bringing lots of snow to the mountains, while leaving Denver and the eastern plains mild and dry. Since then, it's been doing that in spades. The weather reports have switched from forecasting snow totals in inches to feet.

Colorado's ski resorts have received 1-3 feet or more of new snow since the weekend. And it's just getting started. The jet-stream pattern they call the "Pineapple Express" continues to funnel Pacific moisture into the Colorado mountains at a prodigious rate.

The southwestern part of the state, which had been neglected by earlier storms, has been especially favored by this one. Silverton Mountain (a.k.a. Purgatory) got almost 3 feet in a 24-hour period. In one week, the region went from a snowpack of less than 50% of normal to well over 100%.

By Christmas Eve, many locations above 9,000 ft. will have gotten 7-8 feet of new snow. Everyone's using the phrase "epic snowfall" to describe what's happening.

I don't mean to sound like the Colorado Tourism Office, but if you're a skier or boarder, you need to get your ass up there. πŸ™‚

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3 Responses to “Epic snowfall in the Colorado mountains”

  1. Rick Shultz said

    Our “crack meteorologists” are hinting at .5 to maybe 1 inch of snow by midmorning

    tomorrow. I’ll believe it when I see it. The last “white” Christmas we had here was a very light dusting in 2002.

  2. rgcombs said

    On the local Denver newscast this evening, they pointed out that Atlanta may have a white Christmas. Denver will be sunny and in the mid-50s. πŸ™‚

    They also noted that Denver only has snow on the ground at Christmas about one year in three, and snow falls on Christmas only one year in ten. OTOH, we’ve had snow on the ground the last four years in a row. Must be that global warming.

    Merry Christmas! Throw a snowball at someone for me!

  3. Rick Shultz said

    Guess I shouldn’t have “snarked” at our crack meteorologists. Started snowing at dawn and by noon we had 3 inches of snow. 1st white Christmas in Chattanooga in 8 years!

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