One of the more fascinating aspects of the weather here in Colorado is the fact that the mountains see triple and quadruple (sometimes more) the amount of snow we see down here on the Front Range. The Rocky Mountains are really an incredible force and that is why the weather is so drastically different from here to there.
This weekend will be no different. Sunny, dry weather will prevail along the Front Range while the mountains see several inches of snow stack up.
Front Range Forecast
After a dry and breezy Friday, we will cool off as a storm screams through the region. This will bring the Front Range some VERY windy weather. We’re talking gusts up to 65-70 mph at times and those gusts will be even higher in the mountains.
Winds up to 60-70 mph will be possible along all of the Eastern Plains and in the mountains, mainly from the Divide east, gusts to 85-90 mph are not out of the question. This is the storm that will bring snow to the mountains.
For The Front Range, it will be mainly dry. There is the off chance that a few raindrops OR snowflakes fall in the morning, before noon, but that is a very low chance and there will be no impacts from that. The more impactful weather on Saturday will definitely be the wind.
From Sunday through all of the next week, a ridge of high pressure will build. That will bring sunny and mild weather to the region. We have the chance at hitting 70º a couple of times next week.
The average last date of a 70º temperature reading is November 15 but we’ve seen 70s into December before so this isn’t a huge milestone to watch. More notably, the warmth will bring temperatures about 10-15º above normal.
It will also be dry during this entire period. So, no drought relief expected.
That could change as we head to the weekend of the 20th. Models have been picking up on a storm during this weekend that looks pretty good as of now. As it looks, we should see snow in Denver next weekend but the details are too out of focus at this point so just expect a change in the weather come NEXT weekend.
That brings us to Thanksgiving. Still too early to call what’ll happen on Turkey Day but there are signals of a storm possibly affecting Colorado for Wednesday, Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday. Just keep a check on the weather through then.
As I noted, the mountain weather will be much different than the lower elevations. Starting tonight, Friday night, that aforementioned storm will blow in some clouds and will begin to drop snow along the mountain passes around and north of I-70. That snow level will drop into Saturday morning bring most mountain valley locations snow. This will last through much of the daylight Saturday before ending Saturday night.
Snowfall totals look to be pretty healthy. Healthy enough to warren Winter Weather Advisories.
First off, not how the southern mountains are excluded from the winter highlights. This is not a storm for them. Though, a few snow showers are *possible*, nothing should accumulate or cause issues. The issues will be confined to areas from Crested Butte to Steamboat and from Eldora to Sunlight Mountain.
The highest totals will be along and west of Vail pass where snow averages will be between 6-10″ and then 4-10″ of snow is expected along the Continental Divide.
The WILL be road issues at times and with several ski resorts open, those flocking to the mountains should realize that there will be tough driving conditions. On Sunday, the weather will calm down but a few lingering snow showers could develop along the higher peaks as NW flow continues.
Aside from this, the forecast from Monday-Friday of next week will be similar to the Front Range. Mainly dry and mild conditions will persist.
Just as a general guide, here’s a look at the centrally located Monarch Pass. Don’t focus too much on the exact numbers here but rather, look at the trend of temperatures showing a warming trend and then cooling trend by the end of the week. This is the forecast for all mountain locations next week.
Similarly to the Front Range, the mountains will be impacted by a storm the weekend of the 20th.
As it looks right now, the storm next weekend should be a decent performer. When low pressures swing through like this, they typically provide a good upslope flow for the Front Range and they bring a lot of lift and moisture for the mountains which will be beneficial for all mountains.
Too early for forecast totals but they are ranging from 4-12″ in the mountains to 2-8″ along the Front Range. Again, a bit too early for specifics but we can watch the trend and see what we end up with.
The mountain snowpack is doing okay. Since we’ve seen more snow in the southern mountains, their snowpack is doing better but after this weekend, things should level out.
In a typical La NiñA pattern, the Southern mountains usually struggle but so far this year, they’re doing great. We’ll see if this pattern holds but comparing to previous La Niña years, this won’t last.
Enjoy the weekend and batten down the hatches for an incoming windy Saturday!