8:45 AM MST, Sunday, December 23, 2018
The main considerations for the weather over the next week are:
- Dry weather is expected for the eastern foothills and plains through Christmas afternoon (snow on Christmas Eve over the mountains and high passes).
- A period of colder & unsettled weather is likely Wednesday to Saturday (and maybe through New Years Day).
- A major snowstorm for the Front Range region the day after Christmas is unlikely, but there will probably be a couple minor snowfalls beginning the 26th.
Now through Christmas
A weak Pacific storm moving through the central Rockies on Christmas Eve will have little impact on the weather of the eastern foothills and plains. In fact Christmas Eve may be the milder of the next 7 days for the Front Range region. For the West Slope, areas of light snow are likely on Christmas Eve, with some moderate amounts of 6-10 inches at the high passes. Drier weather is expected on Christmas in the mountains.
A large but not particularly strong storm system is expected to move south of Colorado on the 26th. It is forecast to have a north-south orientation which results mainly southerly winds at first and then switching mainly to northerly. The result is very little easterly “upslope” flow that is more conducive to snow. So right now the expectation is for minor snowfall and colder temperatures for the Front Range region on Wednesday or Wednesday night.
Farther east on the high plains (around the Nebraska and northwest Kansas border) a period of heavier snow and wind is more likely late Wednesday or Wednesday night which could make travel difficult. There may even be some rain or sleet at the start.
Another cold front and round of widespread clouds and snow appears to be on the way for the late Thursday through early Saturday period.