11:35 AM MST, Friday, February 28, 2020
Saturday should bring springlike weather to the eastern foothills and plains of Colorado and Wyoming, with high temperatures around 60. There may be some high clouds blotting out the sun at times. Mild weather will probably extend into Sunday morning.
The next storm system is likely to move well south of Colorado, but Pacific moisture and a cold front from the north should bring colder weather and a period of snow Sunday afternoon and/or night to the Front Range region. There may even be a little rain at the start. Right now it’s looking like a 1-4″ snowfall by Monday morning. I’ll update if there are significant changes to the forecast over the weekend.
5:30 AM MST, Tuesday, February 25, 2020
An area of snow is currently moving south across southeastern Wyoming and the northeastern plains of Colorado. That may affect parts of the Front Range urban corridor later this morning or this afternoon. Some areas will totally miss out, but where it does snow there may be an inch or two. This is the kind of setup where DIA has a better chance for snow than areas closer to the foothills.
Dry weather is likely to finish out the week, with milder temperatures by the end of the week.
7:45 AM, Saturday, February 22, 2020
As the storm about to move through the region approaches, it appears the most significant snow will likely stay to the south and east of Denver. There is still some uncertainty about whether the storm will come together fast enough to shift the heavier snow northwest into Denver-Boulder, but that is only a small chance. Right now it appears snow will spread over the area early Sunday, but shift south and east during the day.
Most likely accumulation:
4-8″: Palmer Divide region, Colorado Springs, far south suburbs of Denver.
3-5″: South side of Denver
1-3″ Denver, Boulder
less than 1″: Fort Collins, Cheyenne
Another cold front late Monday and Monday night will continue the cold weather into midweek. There may be some additional snow with that front, but it appears that there will be little or no new accumulation.
5:30 AM MST, Friday, February 21, 2020
The next in a series of frequent storms will be moving through the Front Range region on Sunday. This one is a closed circulation and the timing of the development and intensification will make the difference between a near miss and a significant snowfall.
The European model, one of the best performing, forecasts only a brief period for snow along the urban corridor Sunday morning (only minor amounts) and then more significant snow and wind farther out on the plains. The U.S. model has the storm develop a little sooner and therefore produces more significant snows along the Front Range. I will update tomorrow morning on the development of the storm.
1 PM MST, Monday, February 17, 2020
There are a few chances for light snow accumulations along the Front Range between now and early Thursday. There are no big storms or widespread upslsope likely that would favor heavy snow. Instead it looks like it will be mainly a dry period that is punctuated with periods of cloud cover and some snowfall as some weak disturbances move across the region.
The most likely period for a dusting to 2 inches is tonight in very early Tuesday, and again late Wednesday afternoon and evening. There may be some parts of the region that don’t get any measurable snow. So nature is trying to keep a snow cover in place a little longer!
11:20 AM MST, Friday, February 14, 2020
The eastern foothills and plains should enjoy dry weather this weekend, but the possibility of sporadic gusty west winds near the foothills exists. For the west side of the mountains, the chance for snow returning increases on Sunday.
Mountains and West Slope
Significant snow (some areas more than a foot) is likely beginning Sunday and continuing into Monday for the mountains and west-facing slopes. Expect winter travel conditions at the high passes starting on Sunday.
Eastern foothills and plains
The Front Range urban corridor and adjacent foothills should have a dry weekend. Temperatures for Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins should approach 50 today and Sunday. Saturday will probably be 5-10 degrees colder. There is a chance for some localized areas of gusty west winds in and near the foothills, especially late today, and again early Sunday. The winds are not likely to be widespread. Blowing snow may occur in windy areas, although the warmer temperatures should create a wet layer at the top of the snow which will reduce blowing potential.
The next chance for snow is on Monday or early Tuesday. However the trend for this next storm has been toward less snow than it was looking like yesterday. For now the chance for snow is still there, but it’s possible if the current trend continues that we will just have a change to colder temperatures on Monday without much new snowfall.
Noon MST, Wednesday, February 12, 2020
I just got back into town and missed the latest in a series of snowfalls this month, the one Monday night. More snow will likely fall late this afternoon or evening in and near the foothills, making it the 7th date this month with measurable snow for those areas.
Accumulations will generally be minor:
0-1 inch Fort Collins, Longmont, DIA, Colorado Springs
1-3″ Denver-Boulder metro.
3-5″ in some localized areas in and along the lower foothills in Jefferson and Boulder counties
After that we should have a stretch of days with no snow lasting through the weekend.
The Boulder climate station is up to 30.1″ of snow for February, and that’s already more than twice the monthly average. DIA snowfall for February is running close to 200% of average as well.
3 PM MST, Saturday, February 8, 2020
There will be a couple more chances for snow in the Front Range region, first on Sunday and then again late Monday afternoon or night. Both will be from upslope type events with storm centers passing well to the south of Colorado. The best chance for snow is along and south of a line from DIA to Lyons, with a smaller chance of light amounts north of that line. Monday night may see a major winter storm down near the New Mexico border.
0-1″ Fort Collins, Cheyenne, Longmont
1-3″ Denver metro and Colorado Springs
3-5″ in some localized areas in and near the lower foothills and Palmer Divide
Late Monday/Monday night: generally a 1-4″ event appears possible, more south of Colorado Springs
12:45 PM MST, Thursday, February 6, 2020
Expect difficult travel through Friday if you are heading west over the high mountain passes. The remainder of this blog will concentrate on the eastern foothills and plains.
A widespread continuous snowstorm is unlikely. Rather, we are likely to see the development and decay of narrow northwest-to-southeast bands of snow over the eastern foothills and plains Thursday night and/or Friday. Weather will vary from no precip (and even some peeks of sun) to briefly heavy snow over short distances or short periods of time. It is possible that some of those bands may become nearly stationary for several hours on Friday. At any given time most areas should be outside the snow bands.
1-4 inches in about 60% of the area from Colorado Springs to Cheyenne (probably accumulating in short-bursts separated by dry weather).
0-1 inch in about 20% of the area.
Over 4 inches (locally over 6) in about 20% of the area. Be aware of rapidly changing conditions.
There is a slightly better chance for the heaviest accumulations in Larimer or Weld counties, but it is possible anywhere along the Front Range north of Colorado Springs.
12:10 PM MST, Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Heavy snow is likely Thursday and Friday in the mountains (and especially west-facing slopes). Amounts of 1-2 feet should be common. The heavy snow is likely to extend a few miles east of the continental divide with gusty northwest winds causing blowing snow in exposed areas and at high passes.
Front Range foothills and plains
This is not a classic upslope storm coming Thursday night and Friday. Instead we may see narrow bands of snow develop that are aligned from northwest to southeast (the direction of the strong upper level jet stream). The bands may be several hundred miles long but only about 20-30 miles wide. So while many areas might get 2 inches or less, there is the potential for 6-10 inches in a short time under one of those bands.
The best chance for snow bands appears to be in Larimer and Weld counties, and into the Cheyenne area. In those areas almost everyone should get at least 1-3″, with about a 30% chance for a period of heavy snow producing more than 6″.
The Denver-Boulder area also has a chance for heavy snow bands, but a lower chance. As you go south from Denver the chance for little or no snow increases.
This is a forecast with larger than usual uncertainty.
A look ahead: cold
After a dry day Saturday, there is another chance for snow Sunday or Sunday night. In fact, over the week that begins Sunday most or all days will probably have below-average temperatures with at least a couple chances for snow. It appears that nature is making up for a dry and mild December-January!