Warmer Smoke

Editor’s Note: This is a weekly column written by Meteorologist Joel Gratz that will take you “behind the scenes” of the typical weather forecast. Joel is the founder of ColoradoPowderForecast.com, where you can sign up for his email alerts.

Boulder, CO – It’s impossible to sum up an entire season with one generalization because every storm is a little different. While there may be many deep and cold snowstorms over the course of a few months, there will always be a few warmer storms that sneak in. This is the case over the next week in the western U.S.nUnlike last week’s rather cold storm that brought cold smoke to areas of Washington, Oregon, California, and Utah, the upcoming storm on Sunday through Tuesday will be somewhat warmer. It’s not a tragedy waiting to happen, but it might be more like warmer smoke than cold smoke.

The map below shows the 10,000-foot temperatures last week just before the storm on the left, and later this week on the right. Notice the really cold readings – deep blue and pink colors – are much further up into Canada this week as compared to the last storm.

Click image to enlarge

The relatively warmer temperatures that we’ll see with the upcoming storm should make the snow a bit heavier and also push the rain/snow line up in elevation. It looks like Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will still be very fun days to ride from California through Utah and Colorado, but it won’t be until the storm passes that cooler air and less dense snow will once again fill the air.

Joel first fell in love with weather and skiing at age four, and this passion for snow has not faded with age. After earning his Meteorology degree from Penn State in 2003 and a Masters from the University of Colorado in 2006, Joel started Colorado Powder Forecast out of Boulder, Colo., to help fellow snow lovers with accurate and entertaining weather forecasts.

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