Highly variable impacts from tonight’s storm

6:00 AM, Thursday, March 23, 2017

Over just short distances the strong storm system tonight and Friday morning is likely to produce minor impacts in some areas (most likely the northwest Denver suburbs, Broomfield, Boulder, and Fort Collins) and major effects in other nearby locations (best chances for heavy snow and blowing snow in the Palmer Divide region and maybe across the south and southeast suburbs of Denver).  Colorado Springs will probably be south of the major impacts.

 

The storm appears to be evolving in a way that will produce strong northerly wind along the foothills beginning tonight, but not much easterly or northeasterly wind needed to concentrate precipitation development along the foothills. As you go south of Denver the north winds support upslope toward the Palmer divide and may aid in generating locally heavy precipitation there. Just east of Denver northeasterly winds nearer to the storm center may support a period of heavy precipitation and that may impact the eastern suburbs.

 

Most likely outcome:

Mountains: 6-12 inches of snow likely near and continental divide

Plains and lower foothills of northern Jefferson, Broomfield, western Adams, Boulder, and Larimer counties: rain showers this evening then snow toward Friday morning with accumulations ranging from 0 to 3 inches. Gusty north winds may develop.

Denver and DIA: rain showers this evening then snow and blowing snow toward morning with 1-4 inches

Plains and lower foothills of southern Jefferson, Douglas, and western Arapahoe counties: rain showers this evening then possibly some locally heavy snow and blowing snow by Friday morning with accumulations varying from 3-10 inches. Road closures may occur.

If you are traveling east on I-70 or on I-25 from Denver to Colorado Springs tomorrow expect winter driving conditions from wind and snow and possible closure.

 

What is the chance that the more intense precipitation will shift west?

It cannot be ruled out that an unexpected shift in the storm can bring heavier snow to Denver and Boulder, but that appears unlikely at this point.

 

 

 

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