A snowy Downtown Denver

It’s hard to think we are only 9 days into April. This Pandemic is really starting to feel like it’s not going away any time soon but there is some positivity in the news cycles recently, so I’ll hold on to that.

Do you know when you’re riding a roller coaster, and you’re slowly climbing up and up knowing that there is going to be a very fun freefall on the other side? Such a good feeling. Unfortunately, our climb in temperatures recently is only leading to an eventual freefall in our temps. boo.

Since this past weekend, we’ve had temperatures in the 60s and 70s. I got out there and rode my bike today and not only was it a beautiful day out, there was barely any traffic for me to battle and be scared of. That’s a silver lining if you ask me.

Now, we still have a few more days of good weather ahead of us but the longer term weather – that’s not looking great.

A Look at forecast highs and lows. Red line denotes the average high and the blue line denotes the average low for a given day.

You’re mind probably read this and was like” oh this isn’t so ba….oh. next week.”

An abnormally strong surge of cold air is looking to impact us here in Colorado from Saturday night to next Friday. Friday the 17th. For a solid 7 days straight we are looking to see temperatures run about 10-20º below average. There’s also supposed to be above-average moisture during that period. You can imagine what that means.

April is Denver’s 2nd snowiest month

Denver averages 6.8″ of snow per April on a given year. Clearly some Aprils see more snow and some see less. As we head into a cooler and wetter time, we will see some snow. It will likely be a heavy, wet snow and it will be cold.

Early estimates are for 6-12″+ of snow to fall in the mountains and the Foothils from Saturday to Monday. These numbers will definitely change before we get there and they could change in regard to higher totals and colder temps.

So, what is happening to cause this? There’s a low-pressure system swirling over SoCal. It’s not able to move because there is nothing bigger than it in the atmosphere to move it so it’s just sitting there nice and still bringing SoCal a lot of heavy rain. Flood watches are up for just about all of Southern Cali with Winter Storm Warnings up for the mountains surrounding Los Angeles.

Eventually, a low pressure will break off the main jet which is to the north of us, and that will grab a lot of cold Canadian air and sag to the south. That low pressure is going to be big enough to attract the smaller low pressure over California and move it over the Four Corners region.

Essentially, a lot of ingredients are coming together perfectly for a setup of moderate to heavy snow.

What to expect

Temperatures are going to remain nice and warm through Saturday afternoon. Highs on Saturday may push 70º! And then it might snow Saturday night.

Once the cold front moves through, temperatures will stay cold through the middle of next week.

Snow totals are ranging from moderate to rather big. All of the models show precip starting Saturday night and continue through Monday. It looks like there’s a general consensus that we will see at least 2-6″ of snow in Downtown Denver but there are signs that we could have a better upslope component, colder temperatures and more moisture so some models are hinting at 5-10″ being possible.

Regardless of how much snow falls, we will likely be put under a winter weather advisory (for the lower totals) or a winter storm warning (for the higher totals).

What kind of stinks with this is that it’s going to be a long-duration event because it’s not just once disturbance that is bringing snow, it’s two. So we will see a couple of waves of heavy snow.

Looking passed Tuesday, the cold is staying put. Especially with a lot of fresh snow on the ground. There are also signs of more snow coming down the pipeline as we head towards next weekend.

So, bundle up. It’s going to be a cold and snowy ride for the foreseeable future.

As we continue to do our part in Colorado and shelter-in-place, a stretch of snowy weather will hopefully ease some of the FOMO we are all experiencing not be able to go outside as much as we’d like.

~ Rain or Shine
I’m Andy Stein

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