Unexpectedly big storm for Denver-Fort Collins

1 PM, Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Although forecasts today are easily shown to be more accurate than as recent as 10 years ago, today’s storm reminds us that weather features are complex moving targets. Under and over-forecasting makes forecasting a compelling challenge, and keeps me humbled.


What happened:

We knew it would intensify into a potent storm overnight, but the forecast position was a challenge. The most prolonged heavy snow occurs when the center of circulation passes to the south. We expected this one to pass through the Denver-Boulder area which would put the heaviest snow up in southern Wyoming. In reality, the primary circulation passed just south of Colorado Springs as it moved eastward. That put the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins corridor in the sweet spot (or sour spot if you’re a snow scrooge). Cheyenne got it too, but it wasn’t so unexpected there.


There is mainly light snow left as of 1PM except for a few pockets of moderate snow mainly east of I-25. That should continue to taper off and end later this afternoon and evening.

1 thought on “Unexpectedly big storm for Denver-Fort Collins

  1. wendyabshire

    Nice post Matt. I had quite a scramble this AM trying to figure out if I should head to DIA crazy early or what. Although initially they showed my flight on time, they cancelled it and I got the travel agent to rebook me all before 8AM and I was able to check into my flight now at 8:10 tomorrow morning right on time. So glad I didn’t have an early flight today and go out there and get caught in the mess. We now have our 2nd 14″ drift in front of our garage door.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s