Happily, I’m writing about a pattern change that should be a bit of a game-changer for Colorado. This won’t be a drought-buster but it will provide relief to the drought, it should kick off the snowpack season, and it should allow for more ski areas to open! So, some good news.
First, an update on all things drought and fire.
Although the last snowstorm put quite the damper on the fires burning, it didn’t completely extinguish them. There still some hotspots smoldering and those could flare up at any time with the warm and dry weather that we have forecast for our area through Friday.
As per usual, the drought encompasses more than just Colorado. Much of the west is facing some pretty harsh drought conditions. The worst can be found in and around the Four Corner states. The incoming storm systems will likely impact the drought but again, it won’t eradicate the drought completely. That will take MUCH more time and consistent moisture.
First things first – Denver will probably not see much from the incoming storms. There will be the chance of some rain/snow showers as these waves of energy pass over us but the big winners will be the mountains. What will happen in Denver is temperatures will fall and they will stay low for a good amount of time.
Much of the west will see lower temperatures thanks to this storm cycle. We’re talking going from the 70s for highs to the 40s for highs.
As you can see, Denver will be going from a solid 15-degrees above normal to 5-10-degrees below normals for all of next week. The same trend will be seen in the mountains but will more precipitation chances.
This weekend’s storm will come and hang around for a few days. The coldest and wetter air will be found in the Northern Rockies but all of the western mountains will see some snow coverage from this and see it’s forecast to last for a few days, it will amount to a good bit in areas.
For Colorado, this is a good storm setup up for the southern mountains. Notice the wind barbs, they’re coming from the southwest which is a favorable wind direction for areas like Telluride and Wolf Creek. The San Juan mountains should have a very decent weekend of snow. The Central and Northern mountains will also see snow from this but the moisture will be less as you head north.
Another area of low pressure, less substantial than the prior, will roll across Colorado at the end of next week. This will be a storm that favors the central and northern mountains more than the southern mountains. Several more inches of snow is likely in the mountains will cool and cloudy weather continuing on the Plains.
Another storm is showing up in the models around November 15th. This looks to be a southern tracker which bodes will for the southern mountains. Regardless, this should throw some more snow at all of the mountains in Colorado. It’s a little early to say whether this will bring snow to Denver. The way it looks now, it doesn’t look great, but this is pretty far out.
And finally, a storm looks to roll across Colorado around the 17th. This look to be a more favorable track for the Central and Northern Mountains with not much action down in Denver. This storm is further out and overall there is less confidence in this storm but nonetheless, it’s something to track and something to watch.
How Much Snow?
This is *not* a forecast but more of an idea of what *could* occur. Since we have a decent amount of southern trackers ahead, it looks like areas around the San Juans will see the best snow in the upcoming cycle but again, all mountains should see some decent and consistent snow. That is what we need to start our snowpack. Notice there is some snow around Denver – that is mainly from the Friday (11/13) storm that rolls through. That is likely to change as well.
Overall, be ready for a more active pattern and one that could be beneficial.
~ Rain or Shine
I’m Andy Stein
Should it be “Snow or Shine” during the winter months? Hmmm.