We waited weeks to talk about snow being in the forecast for the Front Range and now, with snow on the ground still in many areas, we’re talking about another chance of accumulating snow. The systems bringing in the snow will also increase winds along the Foothills and adjacent Plains Tuesday through Thursday.
Shortwaves are little ripples of energy within the air that flows above us. Two shortwaves are forecast flow over northern Colorado between Tuesday and Thursday and while each one will bring some different impacts, they both will bring windy conditions.
You’ll notice the first shortwave on Tuesday because there will be a cold front associated with it. Winds will increase behind the front and due to a mountain wave setup, those winds have the potential to reach over 70-mph along the ridgetops and eastern-facing mountains near the Indian Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). In setups like this, it’s not uncommon for stronger winds to make it down into Jefferson and Boulder county. There could be a few periods of strong 50 mph or more winds around Rocky Flats and Boulder Tuesday. Stronger winds are also likely closer to the Wyoming border where areas around Ft. Collins may gust to 40-45 mph. Denver may even see some 40 mph gusts on Tuesday.
There’s not much moisture with this system but orographics (the mountains) will play a role in producing some snow showers for the high terrain of RMNP and the Park Range near Steamboat. About 2-4 inches are expected in those areas by Wednesday morning. No snow for lower elevations.
The next shortwave will move through on Wednesday and will be a bit stronger. You’ll notice another cold front as this moves by bringing colder temperatures, more wind and some snow with it. Winds will increase behind the front and could gusts over 30 mph at times from Ft. Collins to Castle Rock. Couple these winds with falling snow and you’ll have some difficulty driving at times.
Snow will be falling in the mountains along and north of I-70 from Tuesday night to Wednesday night. Up to 8″ of snow are possible for the mountains around Summit county and Aspen by Thursday morning. Winter Park, RMNP and Steamboat may pick up a foot to a foot and a half of snow by Thursday adding nicely to their growing snowpack. Rough driving conditions will be likely on I-70 Tuesday evening to Thursday morning.
Lower elevations can expect some snow too. Areas in Foothills from Conifer to Estes Park and those along the I-25 corridor from Castle Rock to Ft. Collins can expect 1 to 5 inches of snow from Wednesday to Thursday morning. More snow is sure to fall the further north you are. The Denver metro is expecting 1-3″ of snow by Thursday morning.
Thursday morning will once again be a frigid morning with temperatures near zero and even below zero across the northeast Plains. Afternoon highs on Thursday aren’t expected to get above freezing on Thursday so it will be a cold day with some breezy winds lingering. We warm up to average for the weekend.
Bundle up! Another couple of cold days are coming up.