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.

Colder Wednesday, rain, then snow

12:45 PM MST, Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A storm system moving across the southern Rockies will bring some heavy snow to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and into northern New Mexico, but with lesser impacts for the Front Range urban corridor. It is likely the the Front Range region will get some accumulating snow, perhaps in two distinct periods Wednesday through Friday morning.


Rain is likely to develop below 7500 feet Wednesday afternoon and change to snow in the evening (all snow in the higher elevations). It looks like about 1-3″ below 7000 feet by Thursday morning, and 3-8″ in the higher elevations (greatest amount above 8500 feet). The storm won’t completely move through until Friday morning, so it is likely to remain unsettled through then. But it appears likely that we will be in a lull Thursday followed by another good chance for light snow (1-3″) across the region late Thursday and Thursday night.


The weekend looks dry. The next chance for snow should be late Monday or Tuesday.

Next chance for colder and snow is in the 2nd half of the week

11:50 AM MST, Sunday, November 17, 2019

Enjoy dry and unseasonably warm weather Monday and Tuesday (and maybe part of Wednesday) because the 2nd half of the week is likely to be colder and unsettled.


A slow-moving, organized Pacific storm is forecast to move mostly to the south of Colorado Wednesday through Friday. It’s difficult to give details at this time, but it appears somewhat likely that the Front Range region will see a period of snow (or rain changing to snow) Wednesday afternoon or night. After that we are probably in for a couple days of colder than average weather (but not very cold) and maybe some intermittent snow in the Thursday or Friday time period. Although the storm is capable of major snowfall, at this time it appears that significant impacts are likely to stay south of Pueblo, and relatively minor amounts are probably in store for the Denver-Boulder area.


The good news is that the San Juan mountains of southwestern Colorado may receive a major snowfall, and that part of the state has the most serious drought conditions. The storm may also produce precipitation in parts of fire-stricken southern California as it moves inland from the Pacific this week.

Some minor precipitation possible Saturday

6 AM, Friday, November 15, 2019

A fast-moving storm will move across Wyoming on Saturday and drag a weak cold front through Colorado. There is a good chance for some light snow near and west of the high mountain passes Saturday afternoon and evening (1-3 inches) and maybe some sprinkles of rain in the valleys. For the eastern foothills and plains there is about a 60% chance of no measurable precipitation and a 40% chance for some rain showers or rain changing to snow Saturday afternoon or evening with little or no accumulation.

Expect Sunday to be dry, and even though we will be behind the cold front, temperatures should still be around seasonable levels.


The next real chance for precipitation appears to be late Wednesday or Thursday.



Colder, some snow tonight

10 AM MST, Sunday, November 10, 2019

A strong cold front is approaching Casper, WY from the north at this hour. It will likely move through the Cheyenne area in the late afternoon and sweep southward through the Denver-Boulder area between 6 and 8PM.


Following the cold front we should see an increase in low clouds and a chance for freezing drizzle toward the midnight hour. After midnight as some higher level ice crystal clouds move over the area, the freezing drizzle is expected to transition to intermittent snow (mainly light). The snow will likely taper off within a few hours of daybreak. Accumulation are likely to vary from a dusting to about 2 inches for the morning commute.


The cloud cover will probably be slow to thin on Monday, and daytime temperatures may fail to get above freezing in the urban corridor. Milder weather should return Tuesday afternoon.

Next cold front not until end of the weekend

Noon, Friday, November 8, 2019

It looks like we may get an unseasonably warm weekend ahead of the next strong cold front late Sunday.  On Saturday, temperatures in the Colorado Springs-Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins corridor may get near 70, and possible back to at least 60 on Sunday. The cold front will probably move through Cheyenne Sunday afternoon, and then move south in the evening through the Colorado Front Range urban corridor.

Like the last cold spell, the cold air mass will be shallow, so the thickest cloud cover and best chance for precipitation will be in the lower foothills and plains. West Slope areas will have only minor changes.

Freezing drizzle is likely Sunday night in and along the lower foothills (mainly below Estes park and Nederland). Some areas of snow may develop by Monday morning causing some light accumulation (around an inch). Although the clouds may thin a bit Monday, it will likely be a mainly cloud day with temperatures only rising to around freezing. Tuesday is expected to bring a return to milder weather.


Temperature switchbacks over the next week

5:45 AM MST, Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Over the next 5-7 days we are in for at least two cycles where we get a day or two of mainly sunny and mild weather, then a period of mainly cloudy and cold.  The mild periods should be today through Wednesday morning, and again Friday and Saturday. The cold spells should be Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning, and again Saturday evening through Monday. (The next cold period could start by Wednesday morning in Cheyenne.)

Precipitation? There are no organized storm systems, so no major snowfalls are expected. There is a small chance for some light snow or flurries during the cold periods. It is more likely that there will be some low clouds and areas of freezing drizzle in the lower foothills and plains Wednesday evening-Thursday morning, and again on Sunday.


The cold air masses over the next week are shallow and coming from the north and not the west. That means that the changes in weather for the lower foothills and plains will be less noticeable in the high mountains and West Slope. It’s possible that even Nederland and Estes Park will be above the low stratus clouds.

Short lull, then another snowstorm begins Tuesday

12:45 PM MDT, Monday, October 28, 2019

After a short lull in activity, and maybe some breaks in the overcast this afternoon and tonight, snow is likely to redevelop Tuesday morning from north to south behind another cold front. It may be midday before snow develops south of metro Denver. Snow will likely continue into Wednesday morning and then end from north to south.


This next storm is stronger and better organized than the one we just had, but it is working with less moisture. So although the potential exists for a greater snowfall, the limited moisture may result in a similar amount to what we just had, but no freezing drizzle this time. It does appear that mountain areas (which did not get as much as expected in this last storm) might get a little more with this next one. It also appears that significant snow will spread more onto the high plains of eastern Colorado this time around. Although the winds won’t be as strong as we get in our bigger blizzards, there is likely to be enough wind for some blowing snow and dangerous wind chills, especially east of I-25.


Most likely snow accumulation Tuesday-Wednesday morning

7-12″ Rocky Mountain Park, Nederland, Evergreen, Eisenhower Tunnel

5-10″ Denver-Boulder metro and Cheyenne

3-6″ Fort Collins, Longmont, Colorado Springs


Record Cold

Because it may be cloudy on Wednesday morning, the reduces the chance for a record low (7 in Denver from 1991, 6 in Boulder from 1993). On Thursday morning there is a better chance for clear skies that could allow record lows (10 in Denver from 1991, 5 in Boulder from 1991).  The high temperatures in Boulder on Tuesday and Wednesday could be the coldest highs for those dates (record low highs are 26 and 23 both set in 1991). The record low high temperatures in Denver are 25 (Tuesday) and 18 (Wednesday).



The snowfall and record cold should be well over by Halloween evening. But expect snow and the ground and temperatures quickly dropping well below freezing at sunset.