Author Archives: mkelsch14

About mkelsch14

I work for the COMET Program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. I am the NWS cooperative climate observer and the local CoCoRaHs network coordinator. I have an MS degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma, and a BS in meteorology from the State University of New York, College at Oswego.

Some rain on Easter, but probably late in the day

Noon, Saturday, April 20, 2019

Showers and thunderstorms are likely to develop in the Front Range region on Easter Sunday, but probably not until mid afternoon or later. So odds are that morning Easter egg hunts will be okay.


After some showers and thunderstorms late Sunday, there may be a period of steady rain or drizzle in the evening or overnight. The snow level will start to lower, but probably not enough to result in accumulating snow below 6500 feet. Even higher up snow accumulation will likely be minor. Cooler weather arriving late Sunday will continue into Tuesday.

Changeover to snow a little ahead of schedule

12:25 PM MDT, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The changeover to snow is occurring a couple hours ahead of schedule compared to yesterday’s forecast. For the urban corridor (north of Colorado Springs) we are still looking at 2-5 inches widespread. But, it is likely that a band of intense snow, roughly in a north-south direction, will develop on and off between now and early evening. This could make some heavy snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour and maybe thundersnow. In areas that end up under the band for a couple hours there may be some local reports of 5-8″, but that is likely to be a subset or the region between Denver and Cheyenne. Be prepared for rapidly changing conditions over distances less than 10 miles.


Thursday morning’s commute should be fine.

Strong storm develops in eastern Colorado and moves east on Wednesday and Wednesday night

2:15 PM MDT, Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The impacts of the storm will be greatest out in the northern Great Plains states, but there will also be big changes tomorrow here along the Front Range. The storm will feature rain, some localized thunderstorms (possibly with small hail), snow of varying intensity, and strong north winds. The cold front will likely move through in the morning, and the best chance for snow beginning in the urban corridor is in the early to mid afternoon after some rain. Snow will likely begin affecting the high elevations and Cheyenne in the late morning to early afternoon. Wind and precipitation should let up during the night (before Thursday morning).


Snow Accumulations:

Above 7000 feet:

5-15 inches, heaviest above 8500 feet and north of I-70.

Lower foothills and urban corridor:

Most likely: 2-6 inches, perhaps in bursts with strong north winds, metro Denver to Fort Collins (probably less in Colorado Springs and at least 5 in Cheyenne)

~10% chance of 6-10 inches (this small chance is based on the storm being a little farther southwest resulting in more northeasterly flow and snow lasting well into the night)

~10% chance of little or nothing

High Plains:

Most likely 3-8 inches on the plains east of Denver with blowing snow Wednesday evening.


Flight disruptions at DIA Wednesday and some winter travel conditions on the roads, especially in the mountains north of I-70, east of Denver on I-76 and I-70, and I-25 from Fort Collins to Cheyenne.

Getting around should be fine Thursday morning unless you are in the far northeastern plains of Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Minnesota.

Thursday to Saturday

This change to cold won’t move on very quickly.  A relatively cool period will continue, with some more chances for light precipitation Friday or Saturday before mild weather returns Sunday.




Winter is not gone yet…

12:15 PM MDT, Monday, April 8, 2019

Despite the warm weather today and tomorrow (maybe even near record warm tomorrow), anyone who has lived along the Front Range for a while knows that winter often makes a few encore performances during the Spring season. A shift to colder and wetter weather is on track for Wednesday and Wednesday night. The shift will likely be accompanied by a strong surface cyclone Wednesday afternoon and evening that should cause strong north winds on the plains.

Thunder, rain, and snow

This could be a situation with a foot of snow in the mountains, especially north of I-70, with lesser amounts as a go below 8000 feet due to more rain at the start.

For plains the snow potential is highly uncertain. Right now it appears the location of the storm will result in mainly north winds, rather than northeastly. In those situations the areas right along the foothills (eastern Larimer and Boulder counties and the west side of Denver) will often see the precipitation shift east soon after the changeover to snow resulting in only minor accumulation. But a slight error in the storm track forecast can make a difference.


So here is the synopsis for now:

Showers and thunderstorms develop Wednesday and change to snow in the late afternoon. Strong north winds develop during the afternoon, especially east of I-25. Accumulation potential in the lower elevation ranges from 2-8 inches. Travel may be difficult east of Denver Wednesday night (I-70 and I-76), and if you are travelling through DIA bring a good book.




April showers

6:00 AM MDT, Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A weak Pacific storm system approaching and moving through the central Rockies today and tomorrow will increase the chance for a few showery periods over the next two days. This is not a wash-out type of pattern. We are likely to have long dry intervals and temperatures near average today and Wednesday. The best chance for showers (mainly rain below 7500 feet) and maybe a thundershower will be in the afternoon/early evening today and tomorrow. Warmer weather is expected on Thursday .

Snow tonight

11:45 AM MDT, Friday, March 29, 2019

The trend has been in the direction of a widespread snowfall across the Front Range region and adjacent plains tonight. Although a major storm isn’t expected, winter travel condition are likely in some areas after dark and into the late night.

There will probably be some rain around into the late afternoon, mixing or changing to snow in some of the heavier showers. The best chance for steady snow will probably develop between 7-10 pm this evening and then taper off from north to south before sunrise. The snow may come down hard for a brief period after dark, especially in and near the foothills. Some light snow may linger into early Saturday, especially for the south and east sides of metro Denver.


Most likely accumulations through early Saturday:

Above 7000 feet: 3-8 inches

Cheyenne, Boulder, Broomfield, west side of Denver, Castle Rock: 2-4 inches

Fort Collins, Longmont, DIA, east side of Denver, Colorado Springs, 0.5-2 inches


Saturday afternoon and Sunday

Mainly dry, but cool. Cold air aloft on Sunday will probably cause a few showers (rain or snow) to develop in the late afternoon and evening. These will probably be most numerous in the central and southern mountains of Colorado. Milder weather sets in on Monday.

Colder, damper weather this weekend

12:35 PM MDT, Thursday, March 28, 2019

At noon a cold front was sweeping southwest across the northeastern Colorado plains. As a result the temperatures along the Front Range may start to level or cool off a little as we go through the afternoon.


The colder air mass and an upper level storm with Pacific moisture are likely to result in a colder, occasionally damp weather Friday and Saturday. There could be some sprinkles around this evening, and a chance of showers (rain plains, snow mountains) Friday afternoon. But the best chance for precipitation is Friday evening through early Saturday and that would be mainly snow at all elevations. The most likely accumulations are 2-6 inches above 7000 feet, and a trace to 2 inches below 7000 feet. There are some mesoscale models suggesting a little more than that in the lower elevations, but that chance appears small and I’ll update tomorrow if necessary.


Sunday should be the better of the weekend days, but still a little cool. Mild spring weather is likely to be back on Monday.