We’ve got a very fun storm rolling into Colorado. This will be an extremely elevation-dependent event so the higher you are in elevation, the more snow you’ll get. But even the lower elevations are poised to get a nice gulp of water which is likely to be drought-busting for many.
I updated all of my socials before this blog came out so as always, follow me there for more timely updates.
8:30 AM TUESDAY UPDATE
Heavy snow looks to impact Colorado Springs as this system has moved just ever so slightly further south. given that cold air is usually underdone a bit, expect a few slushy inches of snow by Wednesday morning in the Springs. They have been upgraded to a winter storm warning due to tough Wednesday morning travel .
Pueblo has also been highlighted for the possibility of light accumulating snow.
4:30 PM WEDNESDAY UPDATE
Still on track for beneficial moisture to move into the area. No changes to previous thoughts. The storm system on Friday is looking rather nice for snow in Denver – more so than this imminent storm. More deets on that to come.
A classic upslope flow event is coming to Colorado. This is the type of storm we look for all winter long to deliver big-time snows to the Front Range. This go around, it’ll be a bit too warm in Denver to deliver a huge snowstorm but 1-3″ of rain is likely for the city and that will extend from FoCo to Colorado Springs. Those above 7,000′ are likely to get 10-24″ of snow by Wednesday!
Even this close to the event, there’s a bit of uncertainty with storm track and a bit more uncertainty with snow levels.
Let’s talk about it.
First off, our storm is in the Pacific Northwest and will be diving down toward the Four Corners regions and northern New Mexico in the next 24 hours. The location of this low will eventually track in a near-perfect location for great upslope flow to develop.
You’ll notice that this storm is rather small in size compared to the storminess over the Great Lakes. This is important and will be talked about more in a bit.
Small but mighty, this storm will blast eastern Colorado will deep moisture for a prolonged period of time. The only factor that isn’t coming together for a perfect upslope snowstorm, is temperatures. Those below 6,000′ will see mostly cold rain with a changeover to snow by Wednesday morning when the storm is wrapping up. So, limited snow accumulations and impacts for Denver are expected. However, if this storm is a bit colder (which tends to happen), then we’ll see the possibility of several inches of snow in town.
Winter storm warnings are posted for the highlighted counties. For the Front Range mountains from west of COS to west of FoCo, one to two FEET of snow is expected. For the Palmer Divide (Castle Rock and Monument areas) 5-12″ of snow is possible. That will mean near-impossible travel along that stretch of I-25 and extremely tough travel in the Foothills.
Estes Park, Nederland, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Bailey, Conifer and Woodland Park are all expected to get more than a foot of snow will up to 25″ of snow possible the higher you go in elevation.
Again, this storm is likely to be a bit too warm for many in Denver to see significant snow BUT the moisture will still be there and it could be rather impressive.
The Weather Prediction Centra has eastern Colorado under a marginal threat for excessive rainfall on Tuesday. This is essentially the chance of seeing flood-level rainfall in a given area. Although that chance is low, it’s not often we’re placed under these threats, so this is notable.
Precipitation totals look to be measured in inches from FoCo to Trinidad. 1-2″ of rain is likely in Denver and the surrounding areas with the bullseye coming in the Front Range mountains and Palmer Divide regions. It won’t be shocking to see some areas will more than 3″ of liquid precip after this event. A rumble of thunder or two isn’t out of the question either as the dynamics of this storm are favorable for all types fo weather from heavy snow to thunderstorms.
This is great news since Denver has just been recategorized into moderate drought status. Colorado Springs is nearing Severe drought status and Pueblo is solidly in extreme drought.
The rainfall that is coming will not only be beneficial for our drought but will also help green up our leaves as spring blossoms continue to pop. Spring blooms in Denver are running about 2 to 3 weeks behind schedule this year.
Denver held a nice surplus of moisture through early April but it has since been lost to dry conditions. Denver is trailing yearly precip totals by about 0.60″ and we are surely going to get more than that with this storm.
This storm will begin to throw some rain and snow showers over our general area as early as this afternoon. Accumulations will be limited to the highest elevations. The real storm gets going Tuesday.
Starting in the late morning, rain showers down low and snow showers up high are expected to develop and become widespread through the afternoon.
The heaviest precip is expected Tuesday evening overnight into Wednesday morning. This will be when the most snow stacks up and the heaviest rain falls.
The storm will depart to our south and east meaning that precip will end from north to south through the morning on Wednesday. Things begin to clear out Wednesday night leaving us with a pleasant Thursday ahead.
Again, this storm is checking almost every box for a big upslope precip event – we’re just lacking sufficient cold air.
This will be a great storm for us overall.
Looking further out, a much colder but weaker and poorly positioned storm will move through Friday bringing another round of rain and snow to the area. This could deliver a bit more snow to Denver too. Look for more details on that on my social pages.
Here’s a look at the range of snowfall totals that are possible.
Y’all enjoy the rain and snow! It’ll be a busy weather week for us here in Colorado.
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