’13/’14 Ski Season Weather Predictions

Ski Hill Road gets a dusting of snow

The first day of autumn greeted Breckenridge earlier this week with rain down low and snow up high. The mountains are dusted white, aspens are beaming and shedding drops of gold, and brisk nights are forcing fleece and beanies out of hibernation. Breckenridge Ski Resort will kick off its 52nd season Nov. 8. — just a little more than a month away — and the excitement surrounding the soon-to-be-unveiled 543 acres on Peak 6 is palpable.

Naturally, we’re all wondering what’s in store snow-wise for the upcoming season?

While it’s a slippery slope to try and crystal ball Colorado weather, there’s an irresistible urge to flip open the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” and see what’s inked for the 2013/2014 ski season.

Almanac winter weather highlights:

  • Big picture — Winter for our region calls for below average temps with normal snowfall
  • The forecast shows early October as wet with some snow for the Rockies, turning cold mid-month with severe storms Montana south to Colorado
  • November looks very unsettled with light snow mid-month followed by a cold and stormy outlook
  • December ushers in snow showers for Colorado, unsettled storms and colder temperatures mid-month and then heavy snow for Colorado and the Plains for Christmas
  • January 2014 predictions include big storms with heavy snow early in the month, mellowing out mid-month as “generally fair and noticeably milder thanks chiefly to Chinook winds”
  • February starts out cold with heavy mountain snows west of the Continental Divide and ends clear with milder conditions west of the Divide
  • March predictions include very cold temps with a wave of storminess stretching almost from coast to coast

A glance at “Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac” notes December, January and February all delivering slightly below Indy runs through the powdernormal temps and slightly above normal precipitation, with heavy snow expected early December and around Christmas, and a good chance for snow in the mountains Feb. 4–6, 11–14 and 22–25.

Meteorologist and Chief Powder Officer with OpenSnow.com, Joel Gratz posted a statewide overview on Sept. 22, the eve of the season’s first significant snowfall:

  • Snow accumulations will be impressive on the higher terrain considering it’s September! Over 11,000 feet expect 6-10 inches, perhaps a few inches close to 10,000 feet by Monday morning, and you might see some flakes down to 9,500 feet or below late Sunday night into Monday morning.
  • If this were mid winter, I’d be massively excited for a powder day for most of the state on Monday morning. Just wait another month or two:-)

Keep an eye on Open Snow and the Breckenridge Ski Resort weather page this season for Breckenridge snow reports, forecasts and powder predictions.

- Lisa Pogue