Brief warm spell, then colder & unsettled arriving late Saturday

12:30 PM, Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Very mild midwinter weather will be in place across the Front Range region Thursday and Friday. The next cold font and chance for snow arrives on the weekend, possibly not until Saturday night.

 

The warmth

Get ready for mid 50s to low 60s in most of the urban corridor of the Front Range Thursday and Friday. Just how warm it gets depends on if we see the development of high level clouds along the east side of the Rockies that cuts down the sun a bit. Thursday’s record high in both Denver and Boulder is 65. On Friday it’s 68 in Denver and 69 in Boulder. The chance of setting new records is small, but not impossible.

 

The weekend

The next storm and cold front will likely start affecting western Colorado Saturday with some snow in the mountains and rain or snow in the valleys. For the Front Range and eastern plains Saturday could turn out to be mainly dry and mild (probably cooler than Friday) before the impact of the cold front late in the day or at night.

There is a chance for a cloudy and snowy Saturday night or early Sunday, but it’s too early to tell the likely track just yet. In Boulder, the biggest snowfall so far this season is 6.0 inches way back on October 9th, and most of that melted on the road surfaces.

 

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Strong cold front on Monday, maybe a little snow

7:10 AM, Sunday, January 14, 2018

After a mild day today (Sunday) a cold front should make Monday at least 25 degrees colder in eastern Colorado and Wyoming, including the Front Range region. The initial cold front is expected to be through the area by Monday morning, and temperatures are not expected to rise much, and may actually fall during the day. The change in western Colorado will likely be less dramatic.

 

Some light snow is likely to affect some parts of central and eastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming on Monday as well, mainly during the day. Expect a trace to 1 inch in most areas, and 1-3 inches in the foothills/mountains north of I-70.

 

After that expect a mainly dry week with milder temperatures in the second half of the week. The next cold front and chance for snow will probably arrive late Friday or Saturday.

Still no big snowstorms on the way, but possibly windy through early Friday

Thursday, January 11, 2017

A rather dry snow season continues through the holiday weekend. Some snow is likely in the mountains, mainly west-facing slopes, through Friday, but dry for the Front Range. Temperatures along the Front Range are likely to be a bit milder than average Friday and Sunday, with sightly colder readings Saturday and Monday. There could be some light snow out on the high plains late Monday, but little or nothing is expected for the Front Range.

 

Some excitement for the Front Range may come in the form of strong wind gusts Thursday night or Friday morning, mainly in and near the foothills. A area of strong winds is passing over the state. Exposed areas in the foothills and mountains will likely see gusts over 70 mph. In the Boulder area and west suburbs of Denver it’s possible that the strong winds will stay just above the surface, but you should be prepared for areas of strong wind and use caution when driving north-south highways along the foothills. Because our Chinook windstorms move in from above conditions can change rapidly from nearly calm to very windy.

Some snow in mountains tonight, then another fast-moving storm on Wednesday

11 AM, Saturday, January 7, 2018

 

Happy New Year everyone. It should snow in mountain areas this weekend, mainly Saturday night and early Sunday. It’s not a big storm, but given this snow season we’ll take what we can get. It will probably be enough to slow travel down on some of the high passes. For the Front Range light amounts of snow might spread a couple miles east of the continental divide, but most of the foothills and plains should stay dry. Milder than average temperatures should continue through Tuesday.

 

The next storm to affect the mountains is due to sweep through on Wednesday, but once again a big snow is not expected. That one may bring some precipitation to eastern Colorado too, and a change to colder weather statewide is expected on Wednesday.

Windy and mild, then colder over weekend

2:30 PM MST, Thursday, December 28, 2017

Possible windstorm

Tonight and Friday may see some strong winds in the east slope foothills and maybe in some areas along the foothills like Boulder and Lakewood. The Chinook wind came in yesterday morning with a dramatic warm-up, but this morning the colder polar air to the east oozed back in and shut off the wind. Tonight the Chinook may succeed at pushing the cold air to the east again. It’s not certain that the wind will reach the surface all along the Front Range foothills, but where it does the gusts might exceed 70 mph. Other nearby areas might only have light and variable wind.

 

Return of the cold weather

The cold arctic air is not that far away and is likely to slide back in from the north and east this weekend. Its impact will be mainly from the mountains eastward. The far eastern plains of Colorado are likely to be cold all weekend. I think the Front Range urban corridor will be cold all weekend too. But Saturday is more questionable and there is a small chance that the Chinook pattern will keep it mild into Saturday.

The air is pretty dry and snow is unlikely, but we can’t yet rule out some clouds and minor amounts of snow with the return of the cold weather.

Holiday weekend outlook

11:45 AM MST, Friday, December 22, 2017

Very cold air in the north-central United States and mild air in the Southwest will be vying for control of the Front Range region Saturday through Monday, with the colder scenario likely being more dominant (but probably not bitter cold). Snow will be mainly in the mountains, with some heavy amounts above treeline Saturday and Saturday night.

Saturday-Saturday night

The Front Range can expect a surge of colder air from the north and northeast Saturday afternoon or evening (it may be morning in Cheyenne). At mountaintop level Pacific moisture on west winds will bring snow mainly near and above treeline (mostly west of Peak to Peak Highway).

Mountains: widespread 6 inches near and above treeline and over a foot along and west of the divide (heaviest along and north of I-70).

Nederland, Estes Park, and Cheyenne: 1-4 inches

Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver: little or no accumulation most areas, but some narrow east-west bands in the evening may bring 1-2 inches in some spots.

Colorado Springs: little or no snow

Christmas Eve

Dry and cold day across Wyoming and Colorado. There is some chance for the milder air from the Southwest to work its way in during the day, but just a small chance. If the milder air does manage to come in, it might get a bit breezy in and near the foothills.

 

Christmas Day

It appears that the next surge of colder air from the north or northeast will push its way down the Front Range on Christmas. Timing is uncertain, but probably during the day. It should be mainly dry in the foothills and plains, but low clouds and flurries can’t be ruled out. There is a better chance for some snow in the mountains.

Colder with some snow Thursday; weekend outlook

Noon MST, Wednesday, December 20, 2017

First, the one important change from my weather update yesterday morning is that the cold snap for the weekend is looking less intense and less prolonged than what I was thinking yesterday. But you should still expect colder weather with a couple periods of snow Thursday and Saturday. Monday (Christmas) is rather uncertain at this point but the trend has been toward dry and not so cold.

Thursday cold front and snow

A weakening storm system moving through southern Colorado Thursday should still be strong enough for some snow accumulation, mainly in the morning and mainly in and near the foothills. Temperatures should be well below freezing all day and snow may be underway in and near the foothills from Denver north by daybreak. Snow will probably become intermittent and end along the northern Front Range by early afternoon; early evening south of Denver.

2-4 inches: in and near the foothills (Cheyenne, Boulder, western Denver suburbs, and Castle Rock).

trace-2 inches: Fort Collins Longmont, eastern metro Denver, Colorado Springs.

Friday: dry with temperatures rising to near or a little above freezing in the low elevations after a very cold morning.

 

Saturday-Monday

The next cold front on Saturday will keep temperatures in the teens (or drop them into the teens if the front doesn’t arrive until late morning), and then into the single digits for many locations at night. Minor accumulation of snow appears probable along the Front Range.

Sunday will probably be dry and cold, but the cold air mass may be easing up during the day.

Christmas Day is an interesting forecast. A reinforcing cold air mass will likely move south into the north-central U.S. and could slip into eastern Colorado. But it may be fighting against a milder airmass pushing in from the west. Right now it appears the dry and somewhat milder weather might win out, maybe even with some Chinook wind. But that forecast could change dramatically, so I’ll update toward the end of the week.