Monthly Archives: January 2021

Cooler Saturday, then mild until a change to winter later next week

12:30 PM MST, Friday, January 29, 2021

A cold front and a slug of Pacific moisture should bring snow to the mountains tonight and Saturday. But for the eastern foothills and plains, cooler and breezy weather will be the rule, with only a slight chance for brief snow shower.

For Sunday through Tuesday (and maybe extending into Wednesday) we are looking at mild, dry weather.

There has been a pattern shift, with the storm track in the West farther south and bringing needed precipitation to California. In the Wednesday-Thursday time frame a storm within that storm track could bring significant snowfall to Colorado. That’s still far enough into the future that there is considerable uncertainty, but it is certainly worth watching. In any case, we will likely enter a multi-day period of colder than average weather by late next week.

Minor snowfall tonight/Tuesday

Noon MST, Monday, January 25, 2021

The best chance for some snow during the current period of somewhat colder weather will be tonight and Tuesday. But don’t get too excited. Some intermittent light snow or flurries won’t add up to anything major for the Front Range foothills and plains. Accumulation is likely to range from very little on the northeastern plains (Weld and eastern Adams county) to around an inch along the urban corridor, and some local areas of 2-4″ in and near the foothills and Palmer Divide.

Mild weather should close out the week on Thursday and Friday.

Colder, unsettled weather Saturday evening through Tuesday

11:15 AM MST, Friday, January 22, 2021

After a relatively mild start to Saturday it looks like we are in for a 3-day period with below average temperature, multi-hour periods of overcast, and a few chances for snow.

Saturday evening through early Monday:

A large storm system in the West will bring some heavy precipitation to California and Oregon. As pieces of that system move east the Front Range region may have cloudy periods and intermittent minor snowfall (around an inch) late Saturday through early Monday. The chance for accumulating snow at any one location in the Front Range foothills and plains is small, 50-50 at best, and the sun will probably break through at times during this period. The chances for snow are better in the mountains, especially the San Juans of southwestern Colorado.

Monday evening through Tuesday:

The main axis of the western storm is forecast to move east late Monday and Tuesday, and that’s when the chance for widespread light to moderate snowfall increases a little for the Front Range foothills and plains.

Strong Wind Wednesday afternoon into Thursday

11:30 AM MST, Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A windy period is coming to the Front Range region beginning as early as Wednesday afternoon, peaking Wednesday night/early Thursday, and possibly lingering into Thursday. There are two phases of potential high wind: the warm “chinook” phase late Wednesday, and the colder “bora” phase Wednesday night into Thursday.

The first phase before the cold front may bring some localized areas of westerly wind gusts to 50 mph in and along the foothills Wednesday afternoon and evening. The chance for high wind during this phase is smaller to the east of I-25.

The second phase follows a Pacific cold front Wednesday night. Blustery winds in this phase may exceed 70 mph and spread out onto the plains late Wednesday night and early Thursday. As the day progresses on Thursday, the strongest winds may subside, but there is a good chance it will be somewhat blustery most of the day. There will probably be some snow and blowing snow above treeline and at the high passes late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Relatively cool weather will be reinforced behind another cold front Friday night. The coldest temperatures so far this winter season have been during the cold wave of October 26-27 (it got down to 4 degrees at both Denver and Boulder). We have not seen anything that cold since and don’t see anything that cold in the near future, which is rather unusual.

Minor Snowfall on Saturday/Saturday Evening

Noon, Friday, January 8, 2021

Snow on Saturday is expected to be minor (1-3 inches) throughout most of the Front Range region. Some localized areas of snow may develop in the morning, but the best chance is later in the afternoon and early evening. A few local areas may get more than 3 inches, but the chance for those heavier amounts in any one location is small.

Expect a dry, chilly day on Sunday (but not bitter cold) and milder weather for at least the first 3 days of next week.

As of today the mountain snow water equivalent is running below 80% of average for most of Colorado and Wyoming. The exception is around the Sangre De Cristo mountains (south central Colorado) and around Yellowstone where the snow water equivalent is close to average. Tomorrow’s storm is not likely to make any real differences in the seasonal snow deficit.