Depending on the location, totals from the April 15-17 storm dropped close over two and a half feet snow on various parts of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Weather recorder John Gulliksen reported close to 28 inches of snow from his location in Prospect Mountain and the Bear Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park was reporting 36 inches of new snow as of Wednesday morning with more falling. Cold temperatures accompanied the snow, with thermometers dropping to single digits Thursday morning.
The snow in Rocky Mountain National Park enhanced backcountry snowshoe and cross country skiing opportunities. “Backcountry ski conditions and snowshoe conditions are excellent,” said Rocky Mountain National Park public information officer Kyle Patterson. The heavy snows have also enhanced the avalanche danger.
Park officials report the avalanche danger is high on northwest through north to southeast aspects near and above treeline. The danger is considerable in other locations. Spring storm such as the one that slammed northern Colorado this week are not uncommon. Late-season storms like the most recent are “unusual, but not extraordinary,” said Mike Baker, meteorologist with the Nation Weather Service based in Boulder. “Storms tend to move slower this time of year, so they have time to intensify.”