Windy Friday, dry Saturday-Monday

6:20 AM MST, Thursday, January 16, 2020

A strong Pacific cold front on Friday is likely to bring strong west and northwest winds. Near and west of the continental divide there will likely be 4-8″ of snow in mountain areas, with blowing snow at the high passes.

For the eastern foothills and plains it should be mainly dry, but gusty winds are likely Friday, especially afternoon and evening. Some gusts will probably be greater than 60 mph near the foothills. Although it should be mainly dry, some areas of precipitation may survive the trip into eastern Colorado before drying out. So some localized squalls of rain or snow are possible, but with little accumulation.


The weekend is expected to be dry, starting out cool , but ending mild. The next chance of snow for eastern Colorado may come around the middle of next week.

Localized light snow tonight & early Friday; dry weekend

1PM MST, Thursday, January 9, 2020

A storm system moving through Colorado today through Friday morning will bring a discontinuous area of snow. For the Front Range region, the window when snow may occur is this evening through early Friday. Accumulations are likely to range from zero in some areas to about an inch in others.


The weekend should be dry. Temperatures Friday through Sunday are likely to be near the climatological average, and that may seem cold compared to the extended period of mild weather that we have been enjoying.


Mild Saturday, cooler Sunday, windy at times

12:30 pm MST, Friday, January 3, 2020

Expect mild temperatures Saturday (well into the 50s along the urban corridor) and then about 10-15 degrees cooler Sunday, but still not below average. By Monday temperatures might be a little below average.


Dry weather is expected, except there might be some localized snow in the mountains starting late Sunday. Areas of blowing snow are likely at some of the high passes at times over the weekend.


Windiness might be the real story. In southeastern Wyoming strong winds (gusts over 60 mph) are likely Saturday and again late Sunday after what might be a slight lull period early Sunday. For the northeastern Colorado foothills and adjacent plains the setup is not as clear cut, but if you are travelling you should be prepared for some local strong westerly gusts in and near the foothills on Saturday, especially late Saturday. After what may be a quieter period early Sunday, the chances for strong northwesterly gusts increases again late Sunday and may extend out onto the high plains.

New Year’s Day: snow mountains, dry eastern foothills and plains

12:15 PM MST, Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A moist Pacific storm will move west-to-east across the central Rockies on New Years Day, and maybe another at the start of next week. That’s good news for those who like snow in the mountains. Winter travel should be expected Wednesday and Wednesday night at the high passes and west-facing slopes, especially north of I-70 where over a foot of snow is likely.


For the eastern foothills and plains the weather should be a bit milder on New Years Day, with maybe some areas of gusty winds near the foothills. January is the peak month for chinook windstorms. Tomorrow does not look like a classic setup, but I am watching for possible windy conditions this coming weekend.

Saturday snow potential increasing

7:45 PM MST, Friday, December 27, 2019

Here’s a quick update to what I wrote earlier today. Satellite imagery and the evening runs of the mesoscale models have increased the chances for a 6-inch snowfall in the Denver metro area (including DIA and Boulder) for late tonight and Saturday (there is a smaller chance for that much in Longmont, Lyons and Fort Collins). Be prepared for a snowy, cold Saturday.

Some snow this afternoon/evening; some more Saturday

12:00 Noon MST, Friday, December 27, 2019

A cold upper level trof is moving through the region today and Saturday. The surface storm is likely to move from the Southwest to Nebraska as it intensifies between now and Saturday night. For eastern Colorado there will probably be snow (will lull periods) from mid afternoon through Saturday. The action on Saturday will likely shift to northeastern Colorado (mainly north of Colorado Springs).


This afternoon and early evening:

Areas of heavy snow have been impacting the mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, and there is even some lightning and thunder reported not too far from Santa Fe. An area of snow is probably going to move from south-to-north through the Front Range urban corridor from mid afternoon to mid evening. It’s not a solid area, so accumulation is likely to range from nothing to around a half-inch for Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins-Cheyenne. Out toward the Nebraska and Kansas border there may be several inches in a short time, and some freezing rain near the Kansas border.

  • through 9PM
    • Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins, Cheyenne: 0-0.5 inch
    • Colorado Springs: 1-3 inches
    • far northeastern plains 1-4 inches (some freezing rain along I-70 near the Kansas border)

Tonight and Saturday

The action will likely shift to the Front Range and high plains from Jefferson & Douglas counties northward by Saturday morning. There may be some long lull periods, but 0.5 to 4 inches seems to be the most likely snowfall for Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins late tonight and Saturday.

  • after 9PM Friday through Saturday
    • Castle Rock-Denver-Boulder-Longmont-Fort Collins: 0.5-4″
    • Cheyenne: 3-5″
    • Colorado Springs: less than 1″
  • In and near the foothills won’t necessarily have the most snow
  • Areas of heavy snow (more than 6″) and blowing snow are possible in far northeastern Colorado, western Nebraska, and in Wyoming east of Cheyenne.

Colder, some snow uncertainty Saturday

3:00 PM MST, Thursday, December 26, 2019

The next storm system for Colorado is likely to be in 2 pieces Friday and Saturday as it moves from Arizona to Nebraska. Most of the reliable model guidance suggests heavy snow will occur tomorrow in the San Juan mountains of southwestern Colorado (more than 12″). More modest amounts (4-8 inches) are likely across the southern Colorado foothills (mainly south of Colorado Springs) Friday night, and then spread to the northeastern plains (mainly east of Denver) on Saturday. Minor amounts are most likely in the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins region.

Uncertainty for Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins

Although the scenario above is what most of our weather model guidance suggests, there is one notable exception. The GFS model forecasts that the more significant snowfall on Saturday will be a little farther west into the Denver-Boulder area. Since the GFS is the odd one out, that possibility is low, but it is possible. I will update tomorrow.