That was a nice little storm to close out April. The Central Mountains generally picked up around a foot of dense new snow in the last couple days, with snow water equivalent of around 1 to 2 inches. Schofield SNOTEL site picked up 3.5 inches of water with 22 inches of snow.
This is enough new snow by itself to create Storm Slab avalanches in areas that picked up more than about 10 inches. Warm spring temperatures will promote rapid settlement in the new snow, and you will be able to trigger avalanches 6 to 10 inches thick even in sheltered areas. Strong west to southwest winds are building fresh wind-drifted slabs. The slabs forming on northwest to east to southeast-facing slopes will be thicker (up to 3 or even 4 feet deep) and stiffer. This means avalanches on these slopes will be bigger and more dangerous.
There is a lot of new storm snow sitting out there, and it's bound to shed off the old snow surface with wet avalanches. This could start this afternoon at lower elevations. It's the first day of May, and the sun will have a significant impact on the new snow. It won’t take much sun for the new snow to start sluffing down-slope. With snow depths around a foot or more, there will be enough new snow for sluffs to entrain additional snow creating larger piles at the bottoms of slopes or in terrain traps.
This is the last day of 10-zone forecasts for the season. We will continue to issue daily regional (Northern, Central, and Southern Mountains) forecasts and danger ratings through May. Get daily updates at our website colorado.gov/avalanche and please continue to send us your observations!