I hope you enjoyed the mild weather because the weather today is pretty much as good as it will get in the foreseeable future. The mountains picked up some nice snow as a big push of energy traversed the state. It largely dissipated as it passed the Continental Divide though so the possible snow that was forecast earlier this week, definitely didn’t happen.
Here’s how much snow fell across the state since Wednesday.
The event was mostly confined to the central and northern mountains where 3-8″ of snow added up. Some areas of the San Juans got a few inches (Wolf Creek reported 4″).
Quick snowpack check: Looks good but we could use a bit in the South Platte basin.
Quick drought update:
Drought has deepened in the last two months in SE Colorado near La Junta and Pueblo but also near RMNP. Drought has improved in the last two months near Durango and Grand Junction and the San Luis Valley.
Although Denver and the Front Range didn’t see snow Wednesday night there’s another chance tonight. A cold front will swing through this evening and bring some shallow upslope flow to the area. That could spit out a few snow showers in the SW Foothills and over the Palmer Divide but some may make it into Denver. Totals are looking light. The favored areas (not Denver or COS) could see 1-3″ of snow by Friday morning.
This is what the radar could look like as we head overnight.
Some light snow continues in the northern mountains near Steamboat and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) through the evening. For Denver, the Palmer Divide and Colorado Springs the best chance of snow showers comes after 8 pm and continues through the early morning hours of Friday. There is some low-level drying for this snow to overcome and the upslope won’t be very strong but flakes are looking to fly for some folks.
Again, not talking about much here. Here’s a look at possible snow totals by Friday morning.
Overall, not a huge snow event but a lot of you that live between Denver and Colorado Springs may see some light accumulation. This could be enough to coat the roads since temperatures will be in the teens tonights. So, take note if you’re around Kiowa, Monument or Colorado Springs. Snow has trended down for Denver. Friday afternoon will turn sunny and any snow that does stack up will melt quickly.
Beyond this, we are looking at an active pattern staying put which means we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other 🙂 A pattern like what’s unfolding is very encouraging for the early season. Even if some of the storms don’t produce, temperatures staying cold look to be guaranteed which means snow won’t melt as fast and in this early season, that’s important.
Here’s a look at the atmospheric heights over the next 10 days. Areas of blue are generalized by cooler, wetter weather while areas or reds of generalized by warmer and drier weather.
I’ve highlighted Colorado in red above. Notice how there aren’t many frames that don’t have blue in them. To me, this looks like multiple waves of cold air and moisture as we lead up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Many of the main weather models agree with a solution similar to this one although the details differ a bit.
That’s going to be a continuing theme. The details are going to have to be worked out on a case-by-case basis. We’re going to have to track each one of these pulses individually as the approach but it’s good to mentally be ready for that because we’re going to be talking a lot of timing and impacts for separate events.
Let’s start with our next shot of snow (after tonight).
Our next storm is going to track from the PNW toward the Four Corners between Friday and Tuesday of next week. As of now, there’s a general agreement that a storm will be somewhere over Arizona/New Mexico and it will be bringing the cold. Here’s where each main model has this storm positioned in relation to Colorado.
A little far south for impacts to the I-25 corridor even too far south for snow in the Central and San Juan mountains. For that storm, don’t expect many impacts just yet except for the wind and continuing cold temperatures.
Unfortunately, that’s the only clarity we have right now with that storm. Looking past that, there’s not much to go off of except that the chance for mountains and plains snow is there multiple times.
The cold is what is shaping up to be a sure forecast. Here are the 7-day temperature forecasts for several colorado areas.
The common theme – everyone across the state will be feeling colder than normal temperatures. The coldest days look to be as the next storm arrives early next week. Denver and the Front Range Cities are expected high in the 30s Monday-Wednesday with overnight lows in the teens. Some mountain locations will be feeling sub-zero temperatures next week, too.
This is going to be a longer duration, early season cold event to prepare accordingly.
For now, enjoy the weather and the sunshine.