As of 7 a.m. Thursday, here are the reported snow totals.
Telluride: 11 inches
Beaver Creek, Steamboat, Wolf Creek: 10 inches
Purgatory: 10 inches
Snowmass: 7 inches
Crested Butte, Eldora, Sunlight, Winter Park: 6 inches
Breckenridge, Loveland, Vail: 5 inches
Aspen, Copper, Keystone, Powderhorn: 4 inches
Arapahoe Basin, Buttermilk, Monarch: 3 inches
Where to Ski This Weekend
If you’re looking for fresh turns, it might be worth cashing in that “sick day" you reserve each year for special powder days.
Snow is expected in the mountains through Saturday morning. Totals over the four days will reach 6 to 10 inches at most resort, and one-third to half of Colorado ski areas should rejoice with over 10 inches.
“The unsung hero of powder skiing is consistent snow over many days,” wrote OpenSnow forecaster Joel Gratz. “Yes, a big dump of snow overnight is a wonderful thing, but conditions can be even softer and deeper when we see snow each day and night for two or three days, even if totals each day and night are not that impressive.”
As of Wednesday morning, snow had fallen north of Steamboat and in the parched southern mountains. Wolf Creek, which has a 24-inch base, recorded 7 inches of new snow overnight Tuesday, while Telluride and Purgatory, which both have 30-inch bases, received 3 to 4 inches and 5 inches, respectively.
Winds blowing from the southwest will shift west and eventually northwest by Wednesday night, delivering snow to the central and northern mountains, especially Aspen, Monarch, Telluride and Silverton.
Snow will fade to flurries during the day Thursday before picking up again late Thursday night into Friday night and drying out Saturday.
Lines will be a little longer than normal with the holiday weekend, but it’s still safe to say that it’ll be a good snow weekend in the Colorado Rockies.
Breckenridge's Ullr Fest
This week’s storm and a possible shift in the weather pattern (we’ll talk about that later) arrived just as skiers and snowboarders trade their winter hats for horned Viking helmets for Breckenridge’s Ullr Fest this weekend.
The 55th annual event draws in more than 12,000 people eager to pay homage to Ullr, the Norse god of snow. Ullr has been dubbed the patron saint of skiers and is said to glide around the world and cover the land with snow.
And so his followers pray to him for pillows of powder and bountiful white winters.
The festivities kicked off Wednesday with the crowning of the Ullr king and queen and will continue through Saturday night. One of the highlight events is the Ullr Shot Ski, where over 1,000 people drink from a 1,250-foot ski lined with shot glasses.
At Ullr Fest 2017, Breckenridge set a world record of 1,234 shot ski participants. Park City snagged the title in October, but Breckenridge is hoping to take back the title Thursday at 4 p.m.
Tickets for the event already sold out, but it’s a slice of history spectators should not miss, even if it’s for the parade and bonfire afterwards.
The celebration ends with the Wild and Scenic Film Festival Saturday at 6 p.m.
Colorado’s snowpack on Jan. 1 was only 54 percent of the average, according to the National Weather Service.
But, forecasters are eyeing a change in the snow pattern sometime around the end of next week through the end of January. Weather models are showing favorable precipitation patterns in Colorado between Jan. 17 and 23, meaning snow is in our future.
“It looks likely that our snowpack will trend nicely upward this week and later next week, with storms potentially continuing into late January,” Gratz wrote. “That makes me smile!”
Here’s to fresh snow and wintry smiles!
For specific weather model analysis, head to Gratz's Colorado forecast.