Another winter storm is about to move through Colorado bringing a classic upslope snow event to the region. I say ”another” because the way this season has turned around has been pretty incredible.
Most of the Front Range of Colorado had to wait till the last few days of 2021 to receive some appreciable snow and now, we are almost caught up for the season and with more snow on the way (and our snowiest months of the year quickly approaching), we are in a decent spot this winter.
Here’s a look at snow totals so far this season for several Front Range locations.
Ft. Collins – 28.1”
Boulder – 49.8”
Denver/Central Park – 29.5”
Denver Airport – 24.7”
Colorado Springs – 13.4”
These are totals from official weather stations used by the National Weather Service. Denver (at the airport location) averages 56.5” of snow every season and with the incoming storm, we will inch a bit closer to that number.
The storm approaching will bring a solid round of upslope snow to the area starting Wednesday morning in the higher elevations and to the Urban Corridor Wednesday afternoon. The heaviest and most impactful snow will fall Wednesday evening into the night before tapering off before sunrise Thursday.
With upslope snow, the Foothills from Nederland to Bailey to Palmer Lake will likely receive the most snow from this system while areas from Boulder to Castle Rock receive a bit less (although still over a half foot of snow is possible). As is normal with an upslope snow event, the further east you are, the less snow you can expect.
The storm moving through will almost become what is known as a cut-off low which is the type of storm we look for to deliver big time snow totals during the Spring. Although this storm won’t be checking all of the boxes needed for huge snow totals, it will bring checking quite a few which means that hefty snow totals can still be expected in some areas. For this reason, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm alert from Castle Rock to Ft. Collins. These alerts include Denver and Boulder as well.
Snow will fall outside of the highlighted areas but not enough will fall to cause any major impacts. As you know, it doesn’t take much snow to cause issues in the mountains so prepare for tough travel Wednesday to Thursday morning in the high country.
Overall timing looks like the mountains will be impacted first with snow starting in the later morning and continuing through Thursday morning. For the I-25 corridor from Denver to Ft. Collins, snow will begin after 2 pm and will be heaviest from the evening commute till before midnight with light snow lasting through early Thursday morning. For Colorado Springs and points south, light snow will begin Wednesday around the evening commute but no major impacts are expected there with the exception of a slick Thursday morning commute.
This storm will likely push us ahead of schedule in terms of snow for the season (again, a crazy turnaround given the slow start we had). Once snow ends early Thursday morning, the sun will return but cool temperatures will linger through the day. More sunshine and temperatures rising to near 60º can be expected for Saturday and Sunday!
Another snowstorm looks possible next week which could bring similar impacts so keep an eye out on that one.