Our next winter storm is currently BURYING the Sierra Nevada mountains in California under 50-80″ of snow! Energy from the storm is going to eject itself from the main flow and zoom across the country and in its path, is Colorado.
The bout of energy that will move through on Wednesday will begin to impact Colorado starting on Tuesday. Snow showers are expected across the San Juan mountains from Tuesday to Wednesday with the heaviest of snow expected overnight into Wednesday.
All mountains in Colorado are expecting snow from this quick-moving system but the San Juans should benefit the most in regards to total snow. Winter Storm alerts are posted for the San Juans in anticipation of this event. Up to 16″ may fall on the highest, most favored peaks. Other mountain locations from the Elk Range to the Park Range are expecting 2-6″ of snow. The Front Range mountains and the Rampart Range are expecting 2-4″ of fresh snow by the end of the day on Wednesday.
There is no snow expected east of the mountains with this system. However, there could be some snowflakes at times as we will have a very quick ( < one hour) of upslope to contend with.
The biggest story east of the mountains will be the winds. This is a very powerful system blowing onshore and although it’ll lose some of its strength, it will still bring powerful winds. So far, high wind warnings are posted for southeast Colorado from Pueblo to Trinidad to Kim to Burlington. I’m expecting these high wind warnings to expand because even from Colorado Springs to Denver, winds could gust to 60 mph. In the San Juan mountains, as this storm blows by, 75-80 mph winds are possible. Hurricane-force winds begin at 74-mph and go up from there. Tropical Storm force winds start at 39mph and go to 73 mph.
This will come with cooler weather for the state. Highs will drop down to around seasonable norms for Wednesday and Thursday with another shot of cold air coming for Friday and Saturday.
There is no significant snow in the forecast for Denver or any I-25 locations. While the excitement of getting our first “official” snow in Denver was fun, we are still lacking snow by over a foot and are continuing to see worsening drought conditions. This wind storm is the best mother nature can provide for us.