Powder Predictor

Cold weather to ring in New Year in the Vail Valley

Northwest flow returns for January

By Reid Griebling
Real AspenDecember 31, 2010
The weather gods once again had their way with forecasters this week, as a well formed system shifted to the southwest, leaving the northern half of Colorado unexpectedly craving snow.

Southwest flow that was expected to shift to the northwest did just the opposite and shifted due south, leaving areas in the central and northern mountains out of the loop.

Wolf Creek, Durango Mountain Resort and Silverton were the big winners once again as snow was very late to fall in the Vail/Aspen areas. Vail and Beaver Creek are reporting 7 inches of new snow this morning with Aspen/Snowmass reporting a disappointing 3 inches.

The good news? Northwest flow will return by late next week, bringing a slew of shortwave systems with it.

Our weekend forecast looks good as very cold temps today and Saturday will wane into warmer, more seasonal temps by Sunday. Residual moisture will fall today and tonight before clearing skies and record low temps arrive for New Year's Day.

Expect on-mountain highs for Saturday in the single digits with light northwest winds dropping wind chills well below freezing (-10 to -15 windchill). Sunday temps will rise into the teens, with light winds and clearing skies. Expect another 2-4 inches on the ground by Saturday morning at both Vail/Beaver Creek and Aspen/Snowmass.

We see a weak system move into California early next week, but right now models show that high pressure over Utah will deflect this system to the south.

The middle of January (Jan. 8-15) looks promising, as numerous waves of low pressure will travel from Oregon into northern and central Colorado. I'll keep close watch, as many of us are waiting for another good powder day.

Finally, bundle up, cover exposed skin, don't be afraid to take frequent stops, and please be SAFE this New Year's Eve.


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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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