12:15 PM, Friday, December 11, 2015
A intensifying storm system will track through Colorado tonight and become a potent storm as it moves east of the Front Range Saturday afternoon. The Front Range region will likely see at least a period of snow Saturday, and a generally cloudy and cold day.
Mountain accumulation Friday-Saturday: 6-10 inches near the continental divide, 3-6 inches foothills (including Nederland)
Lower elevation accumulations (mainly Saturday, maybe a little Friday night):
- 60% chance for 2-5 inches (including Colo Springs-Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins- Cheyenne)
- 20% chance of more than 5 inches due to a period of localized heavy snow (in a small portion of the area)
- 20% chance of less than 2 inches (a little greater chance for this outcome in Colorado Springs).
Why are strong storms not producing big snows?
We have been in a pattern since early November of intense storm systems that do most of their intensification as they pull east of the Front Range. This limits the “upslope” flow and most of the region gets a relatively minor snowfall, while a small portion (not necessarily near the foothills) gets a period of intense snow. One of these times we might get surprised with widespread heavy snow, but I don’t think it’s this time.
Another strong storm system is due in the area late Monday, but once again it may not be the kind to produce widespread high impact snow. But it’s still worth watching.