A dry start to the slopesport season continues in Colorado, with resorts around the state lacking in snow, thus also lacking in open terrain.
Based on SNOTEL data, Colorado is currently at just 56 percent of the to-date median snowpack, as of December 1, with the southwest corner of the state at just 33 percent of the to-date median snowpack. The last time Colorado was around this level statewide at the start of December was in 2018, though there was a little more statewide snow that year than there is now. There was also a slow start in 2017, though accumulation ramped up quickly come December during that season.
The lack of fresh powder has many snowsport enthusiasts wondering if the Colorado winter they love will ever arrive.
For those looking to hit the slopes, there's a little bit of good news regarding weather on the horizon.
According to a report from OpenSnow's Alan Smith, a more active weather pattern will be returning to the American West next week, hitting the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies the hardest (See that full report here). Joel Gratz' Colorado-specific report shows that this shift may bring a storm to Colorado on Tuesday, December 7, with potential to drop more than six inches, possibly followed by another wave of wintery weather on December 11 (See the full Colorado-specific weather report here).
Weather outlooks in ski towns around the state from other forecasters mirror this prediction, with the Weather Channel predicting snow in a number of spots across Colorado's mountains from Monday night into Tuesday, including Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Aspen, and Telluride, among other spots.
Significant snow is not expected in Colorado Springs or Denver during this wave of weather at this time, with Denver continually setting a new record for latest first snowfall ever recorded with each dry day that passes and Colorado Springs on track to break it's record of latest first snowfall should no snow accumulate before December 2.
As snow continues to be sparse in Colorado, drought levels continue to rise. According to the latest available data from the US Drought Monitor, 100 percent of the state was abnormally dry as of November 23, with 88 percent of the state experiencing some level of drought.
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