The upcoming storm has been on my radar for the last several days but there hasn’t been any kind of consistency in the models nor has there been enough confidence in the timing to be able to say exactly when snow will happen.
That confidence has grown just a bit.
The mountains will see the majority of this storm. They will see this storm last the longest and produce more snow than what we will see down in Denver and along the Front Range. That may seem obvious but with how snowy it has been along the Front Range, I just wanted to be clear.
There is a weak disturbance that will push through the northern mountains Friday night into Saturday morning, this really won’t amount to much but a few areas near and around Steamboat (in the northern portion of the state) will see a couple to a few inches with this initial spurt of energy.
The main storm that I am watching will move into the state from the northwest on Saturday evening. This will bring snow to areas north of I-70 in the mountains from Saturday night to Tuesday morning potentially.
This isn’t just going to be a quick in-and-out storm. There is the potential of this storm stalling out and with the dynamics that we have in place, it could make for a long duration snow event that could drop over 18 inches of snow on some areas.
Saturday night, through Sunday, temperatures will be relatively warm and this will mean that the snow will be a little bit more dense and sticky. On Sunday afternoon/evening, a cold front will move through and bring additional lift and some more moisture. This cold front will drop temperatures and make the snow more fluffy in nature. Thanks to northwest flow and topographical influences, snow will continue into Monday and may even continue into Monday night/early Tuesday morning for some.
Overall, 6-12 inches of snow can be expected for those north of I-70 in the mountains with the possibility of up to 20″ falling.
6-12 inches are expected for the central mountains from Aspen to Monarch.
5-10 inches are expected in the northern Southern mountains (Telluride, Silverton). In this area, there is the potential to get more snow from this system, and equally, there is the chance of seeing less. This is the area that I’m least confident about but they will definitely see at least a few inches of snow.
The San Juan Mountains, Wolf Creek and Purgatory, will expect 2-5 inches of snow through Tuesday.
Snowpack numbers as of February 12, 2020
A quick check on mountain snowpack – it’s in GREAT condition. This is exactly what we like to see especially since we are heading into a time where we see more snow with more moisture in it. Essentially, a healthy snowpack means a great Spring showing of flowers and an overall greener start to Spring in Denver as well. We like this map.
Denver Metro Forecast
We actually have a pretty decent forecast through Sunday. Friday features a lot of sunshine and highs near 50º. Saturday, a few clouds will be overhead and temperatures will drop a few degrees. Sunday, we warm back up ahead of a cold front that is set to hit the area. Expect partly to mostly cloudy skies on Sunday with highs in the upper 40s.
The aforementioned cold front is what I’m watching. Thanks to some of the factors that are bringing the mountains snow, as well as, this cold front, the chance of snow will go up from Sunday night through Monday and possibly last into Tuesday depending on the timing.
Snowfall looks to be minor, but impactful. That means that we could see accumulations that would be enough to cover the roads and create som not-so-great driving conditions. The exact total of snow is up for debate just because we may not have as much moisture as what is currently thought, we could also end up with slightly more than what is currently thought.
I would expect a couple of inches in Denver between Monday and Tuesday at this point. So, again, not TOO impactful but definitely something to watch as there could be more than that.
Basically, enjoy your mostly snow-less weekend and be prepared for a snowy beginning to the work week next week.