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.

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.

Colder week ahead, with snow on Monday

11:45 AM MST, Sunday, December 27, 2020

This coming week will be colder with some snow Monday and/or Monday night. We are not looking at bitterly cold weather, but even in the lower elevations daytime temperatures might not get out of the 30s for most of the week.

It looks like snow will develop in much of the Front Range region Monday morning, with generally cloudy conditions and occasional snow or flurries lingering into Tuesday. Light to moderate amounts are likely on Monday.

General accumulations: 1-3 inches

Local accumulations: 3-5 inches in some areas, mainly north of Denver and along the foothills (Boulder, Fort Collins, Cheyenne, Nederland, Estes Park).

Windy & colder Wednesday, milder for Christmas

11:45 AM MST, Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tonight and Wednesday

A cold front this evening will bring a blustery cold wind and some accumulating snow in the mountains. For the Front Range foothills and plains, most areas will see little or no accumulation, but there may be some snow showers around. It will be cold Wednesday, but mainly dry, with north winds lingering for longer east of I-25.

Thursday-Sunday

Thursday through Saturday should be dry. It will still be chilly on Thursday, but not as cold as Wednesday. By Christmas Day afternoon temperatures should be a bit above average. The chances for a white Christmas are rather small for the Front Range urban corridor. The next change to colder and more unsettled weather will probably arrive on Sunday, but that is also looking like a storm that will have minimal impacts for the eastern foothills and plains.

Milder weather following a little clouds and flurries

5:45 AM MST, Friday, December 18, 2020

Some clouds and maybe some flurries or light snow will be around today, but then look for a dry weekend, with temperatures a little milder each day through Monday.

The snowfall potential is pretty minor. In fact, little or no measurable snow is the most likely outcome for many parts of the Front Range. Where it does snow more substantially (southern metro Denver, Castle Rock, and higher mountains) we are probably only looking at around and inch.

Snowfall is running below average this season in most areas, although not nearly as low as some past years. Remember that we got an early start this year in September. The long range pattern is not looking promising for any major snowstorms.

Winter Solstice

Temperatures in the lower elevations are likely to rise into the 50s Sunday and Monday. The winter solstice is at 3:02 AM MST Monday, but they day won’t be nearly as wintry as it could be this time of year. Occasional gusty Chinook winds might be the price to pay for the warmer weather. The next cold front is due in late Tuesday, and right now it’s looking like another dry one.

Clouds an snow not over yet

5:30 AM MST, Saturday, December 12, 2020

It’s true, another weak storm system is likely to bring another layer of snow this evening, possibly starting late this afternoon, and be gone before morning. For most places this will likely be another 1-3 inches.

Sunday should bring some sunshine even though it will be chilly. But clouds will be on the increase again Monday as yet another weak storm moves through. It’s not clear yet if that storm will bring more snow, but if it does, it should another fairly minor snowfall late Monday or early Tuesday.

Sunday night is the annual Geminids meteor shower (one of the two best meteor showers of the year). The good news is that there will be no moon this year. The bad news is that it is very likely there will be cirrus clouds obscuring the sky, especially after midnight when the meteors peak.

Winter returns before the end of the week

5:45 AM MST, Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Today will be the last day in our current stretch of unseasonably warm weather for a little while. Tomorrow will be colder, but not too bad. Then tomorrow night through Saturday night are likely to have frequent cloudy periods, some periods of snow, and daytime temperatures not doing better than the 30s even in the low elevations.

The first period of snow will probably be Thursday night and Friday morning with about 1-4″, most likely in and near the foothills.

A series of weak Pacific storms won’t allow a complete clearing out Friday. There may be lulls and some breaks in the cloud cover, but additional periods of snow (mainly light) appear likely through Saturday morning. Even on Saturday night there may be one more weak disturbance bringing at least some clouds, and maybe some more light snow. Through all of that a few more inches are likely.

So a big snowstorm does not appear to be bearing down on us, but a multi-day period of cold and occasionally snowy weather does seem to be on the way.

Colder Tuesday-Thursday, maybe a little snow

3:15 PM MST, Monday, November 30, 2020

Today (Monday) was the mild day of the week. A cold front tonight will make Tuesday at least 10-15 degrees colder, and another cold front by Wednesday morning will make it even colder. Daytime temperatures on Wednesday are likely to remain below freezing even in the urban corridor. The good news is that the cold air may start to moderate by the end of the week, and the initial outlook is that the weekend won’t be so bad for December.

Snow? Both cold fronts this week are associated with upper level storms, but we are in a dry air mass. The result will probably be some scattered areas of mainly light snow or flurries Tuesday and/or Wednesday. The best chance for accumulation is in the mountains where several inches are likely. For the lower elevations of the Front Range we will likely see a trace to a couple inches by Wednesday, with accumulation more likely in the south and west sides of metro Denver than to the north and east.