By Ashton Altieri

DENVER (CBS4) – While there have been several periods of snow in the Colorado high country in recent weeks, there has not been a large storm in the mountains so far in January.

For example, at Loveland Ski Area there was 12.3 inches of snow from January 1 through January 14. That’s compared to 22 inches during the first two weeks of December and a total of 43.4 inches during the entire month of December.

The predictable result of the dwindling snow totals has been a slowly dwindling snowpack in most Colorado river basins.

To be certain, most river basins in the state are still quite healthy. But the Colorado, North Platte, Gunnision, and Yampa/White River basins have all decreased in recent weeks. And the San Juan and Upper Rio Grande basins in southwest Colorado remain about 20% below normal with snowpack for the middle of January.

Fortunately two storm are taking aim at Colorado through the end of this week. The first will bring snow to virtually all mountain areas in Colorado Tuesday night into Wednesday. A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for up to a foot of snow in the mountains surrounding Steamboat Springs and Rabbit Ears Pass, the Crested Butte area, and the Uncompahgre Plateau. Significant snow is also expected in the San Juan mountains although amounts should be somewhat less.

No snow will reach Denver or the Front Range with the Tuesday night/Wednesday storm but the second storm we’re tracking should bring a chance for snow nearly statewide on Friday. Snow totals in the mountains on Friday should be at least as much as Wednesday and will probably be higher in many areas.

In terms of snow for the metro area on Friday, it’s all going to depend on how strong the upslope is and how long it lasts. Some weather models suggest we will have nothing more than dusting in in the metro while others are suggesting several inches. And at this point any of them could be correct. It seems also certain it will snow on Friday. The unanswered question is how much. We’ll keep you posted!

Ashton Altieri

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