SECOND WINTER STORM HITS COLORADO

Good Evening!

While we don’t expect full-on blizzard conditions like what we had last weekend, another decent winter storm will be putting snow right back down no sooner than we melt the lion’s share of the snow from the blizzard! As the evening progresses, roads that were just wet will see snow stick and accumulate, and slippery/icy conditions will make it a challenge for you to drive to work or school tomorrow morning.

For the Metro east of the foothills, you’re under a Winter Weather Advisory and snowfall amounts should be in the 2-5” range, though locally higher amounts up to 6” are possible. As you get west into the high country, you are under a Winter Storm Warning, and snowfall amounts will quickly start to increase, with a foot or better in some locales possible. 

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Here’s your forecast –

***Winter Storm Warning/Winter Weather Advisory active until noon MDT Monday.***

Tonight – Cloudy, with snow, heavy at times in some locations. Temperatures will drop to 25, winds NW 5-10 MPH.

Monday – Snow continues AM but starts to taper off as the day progresses, additional accumulations throughout the area should be no more than 2” on top of any snow that has accumulated before 6 AM. Readings will climb to 38 with NNW winds 5-10 MPH.

Stay weather aware, and allow yourself extra time to commute as necessary. Have a great night!

Winter Storm Over – More Snow Midweek…

Good Morning – 

We finally can say so long to the winter storm/blizzard that socked the Front Range and mountains with over a foot of snow, with some places over two feet, and locally higher amounts in the High Country! Let’s have a look at some of the snowfall totals:

FRWsnowtotals031521

Here you see some of the heavier totals. There were quite a few areas reporting less than a foot as well, you can check all the snowfall reports out at NWS Boulder’s snowfall reports page. The 27.1″ official total for Denver is the fourth largest single event dumping on record!

WHAT NEXT?

We’ll see clearing skies later today and readings climbing into the upper 30’s, with some spots touching 40. Winds along the Front Range will be southerly 5-10 MPH, and in the foothills/high country we’ll see WNW winds about the same speed. If you’re out near I-25 or east of the interstate, you’ll see the milder readings. The next system we are watching comes in Tuesday evening, with a shot of light snow thanks to a 998 millibar surface low down in northern New Mexico. Snow is expected to start after 5 PM and last through about 1 AM Wednesday. Minimal additional accumulation is expected, shouldn’t be much more than a dusting to an inch, slightly higher amounts possible in the foothills and south of the Metro. Here’s the Hi Res NAM model FutureCast for 8 PM Tuesday evening.

Here’s your forecast for Denver and vicinity:

Today – Clearing skies late, temperatures 36-39 depending where you are, some spots will briefly touch 40 or 41. Winds southerly 5-10 east of I-25, with WNW winds 5-10 mph coming out of the high country and along the foothills.

Tonight – Mostly clear and cold, with readings dropping to 16.  WSW winds calm to 5 MPH.

Tuesday – Increasing clouds as the day progresses, with light snow developing early evening. Accumulations expected to be less than an inch. High 34.

Stay safe and have a great Monday!!!

– Forecaster Mike Estwick

WINTER STORM DRAWS CLOSER…

Good Morning!

Forecaster Mike here – currently 35 degrees at DIA with cloudy skies throughout the area. We are roughly 12-18 hours away from the start of our winter storm event here, and I hope that you are ready! If you haven’t already done so, get your last minute shopping done, charge up your electronic devices and any external power banks you have just in case you should lose power. Here’s what we have going right now:

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This really should go without saying, but I will say it anyway. stay off the roads this weekend unless travel is essential and unavoidable! By going out, especially into the high country, you are unnecessarily risking your safety, and then endangering first responders if they have to come looking for you to pull you and/or your vehicle out of a situation.

Here’s a look at the Hi-Res Rapid Refresh model FutureCast for 9 AM tomorrow morning:

You see the 1007 low right by the OK/TX/NM triple point, and with ample moisture coming in from the south via the subtropical jet and off the Gulf of Mexico, this is when it will really be game on for us.

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This graphic snows the Hi Res NAM FutureCast for accumulated snow, this snapshot is valid for 3 AM Sunday morning (time change). What is striking is how sharply amounts ramp up once you cross I-25, then again as you get to and up into the foothills. DIA and vicinity should stay anywhere from 5 to 10 inches, but then once you cross the interstate, you quickly ramp up to a foot or better, with upwards of two to three feet as you head north and west!

Forecast for your Friday:

Cloudy skies, seasonably cool, readings should top out 39-42 depending on your location with winds ESE turning northeasterly 6-12 MPH.

Tonight – WINTER STORM WARNINGS START 12:01 AM SATURDAY. Light snow should start after 6 PM and overspread the region by 11 PM, increasing in intensity overnight. Lows dip to 28.

We’ll have more information for you as we get closer to this storm event. Have a great Friday and be safe!

Major Winter Storm Developing

Good Morning!

After a week or so of mild and spring-like conditions, a significant winter storm is brewing that will have significant effects all across Colorado’s, especially the high country and Front Range, even out onto the Eastern Plains. Let’s talk about it.

WINTER STORM WATCHES ACTIVE

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch beginning tomorrow afternoon, here’s the text directly from the NWS statement showing who is in play for this event:

South and East Jackson/Larimer/North and Northeast
Grand/Northwest Boulder Counties Above 9000 Feet-South and
Southeast Grand/West Central and Southwest Boulder/Gilpin/Clear
Creek/Summit/North and West Park Counties Above 9000 Feet-Larimer
and Boulder Counties Between 6000 and 9000 Feet-Jefferson and
West Douglas Counties Above 6000 Feet/Gilpin/Clear
Creek/Northeast Park Counties Below 9000 Feet-
Including the cities of Winter Park, Westcreek, Rocky Mountain
National Park, Central City, Red Feather Lakes, Breckenridge,
Bailey, Williams Fork Mountains, Evergreen, Georgetown,
Glendevey, Indian Peaks, Nederland, Eisenhower Tunnel, East
Slopes Southern Gore Range, Mount Evans, Cameron Pass, East
Slopes Mosquito Range, Berthoud Pass, Kenosha Mountains, Estes
Park, Willow Creek Pass, Laramie and Medicine Bow Mountains,
Idaho Springs, and Rabbit Ears Range; Larimer County Below 6000 Feet/Northwest Weld County-Boulder And Jefferson Counties Below 6000 Feet/West Broomfield County-North
Douglas County Below 6000 Feet/Denver/West Adams and Arapahoe
Counties/East Broomfield County-Elbert/Central and East Douglas
Counties Above 6000 Feet-Central and South Weld County-
Including the cities of Elbert, Roggen, Arvada, Larkspur,
Boulder, City of Denver, Aurora, Littleton, Brighton, Highlands
Ranch, Fort Lupton, Loveland, Kiowa, Eaton, Longmont, Fondis,
Denver International Airport, Golden, Parker, Castle Rock,
Lakewood, Fort Collins, Greeley, Nunn, and Hereford

You see the entire Metro Area, as well as further south all the way down the I-25 corridor into Colorado Springs is impacted.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

You’ll have one more decent day to get ready, and that’s today. You can expect readings to top out around 44-47 throughout the Metro, with periods of clouds and sunshine. As you start to climb into the high country, readings will wind up 7-10 degrees cooler, so 34-39 depending on where you are. Winds will vary early, then turn southerly 6-12 MPH, higher near the foothills. Tonight, a rain/snow mix will drop some limited precipitation over the Metro and Jeffco, with minimal accumulation of snow expected except on cars and grassy surfaces. Readings will dip to 28-34 overnight with increasing clouds.

Friday morning will see perhaps a couple of peeks of sunshine early, then skies turning mainly cloudy as we get toward lunch and into the afternoon hours. Snow is expected to start falling between 2 and 6 PM depending where you are. Right now it looks like the earlier event kick off will be closer in to the foothills, say from a line between Boulder and Golden and Morrison, spreading from there. The heaviest snows will be overnight Friday night into Saturday, with snowfall rates approaching an inch per hour at times, and winds increasing to 20-30 MPH at times will lead to near white-out conditions.

As we get closer to the event, we’ll bring you forecast model maps and additional forecast details. Get your errands done today or tomorrow morning, and be ready to stay in and relax this weekend. Metro forecast snowfall amounts are 15 to 30 inches, with the higher amounts in the west suburbs and foothills, and amounts upwards of three feet or better for the Boulder valley and headed north toward the Colorado/Wyoming border.

  • Forecaster Mike Estwick

Winter Weather Mischief This Weekend…

Good Evening! The last vestiges of our Spring respite are slowly fading off to the east, soon to be replaced by Old Man Winter returning with a vengeance.

WHAT’S CAUSING ALL THIS?

A 997 mb surface low is parked right over eastern Colorado as we speak, with cloudy skies and a few scattered showers along the extreme north I-25 corridor and up into Wyoming. Winds have turned northerly and temperatures are coming down. You can say goodbye to the sixty-plus temperature readings for awhile, as winter returns with a push of cold air and a cold front surging in from the northwest for Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll see a March snowstorm beginning Friday evening and continuing for most of the weekend.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?

The Metro will have cloudy skies and we can’t rule out a shower or two, with some light snow in the foothills and a bit heavier activity in the higher elevations tonight. We’ll see readings dip to around 33 in the Metro, a touch cooler as you go higher, and northerly winds making it feel a touch colder. For Wednesday, you’ll see a mix of clouds and sunshine with cooler conditions and readings topping out at 48, but I imagine a couple of spots might make 50 or even 51 depending on how much afternoon sun we can get. Readings will continue to fall into Thursday, with temperatures dropping more and topping out near 37 for most areas, some spots closer to downtown might be able to get to 40 briefly.

GAME ON COME FRIDAY

Taking a look ahead, forecast data is suggesting that we’ll see snow start to fall late afternoon Friday, just in time to start to impact the latter part of the PM drive if you have to commute. Snow will ramp up quickly in intensity. Data is suggesting rates upwards of three-quarters of an inch to an inch per hour in some spots, with locally more intense pockets of snowfall possible. If this storm performs as currently advertised, by Sunday afternoon the Metro could have over two feet of snow, with some locations edging toward three foot territory!

I’ll be watching this system closely and we’ll update the forecast for you in subsequent posts. Have a great night!

  • Meteorologist Mike Estwick

#COwx #FrontRangeWeather

Quiet Thanksgiving – Mild Shopping Weather…

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you are well and safe this holiday, and if you’re gathering, that you take the required precautions to avoid COVID-19. Let’s take a look at the weather in the Front Range for the next several days.

STILL PARCHED: The snowstorm from earlier this week did bring some badly needed moisture to the region, but there is still a lot more needed before we can get out of this persistent drought. Have a look at the latest drought monitor map for Colorado:

Colorado Drought Map as of 11/25/2020

As you can see, the entire state is having issues, with exceptional and extreme drought the order of the day in a good portion of our state. We’ll be getting more precipitation in the area here over the next 7 to 10 days, so this should improve, at least a little bit.

NOT MUCH SEVERE TO SEE: We don’t have any severe weather here in the Metro or Rockies to talk about, and not much anywhere in the lower 48 really, other than down by the Gulf Coast and then into far southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.

FIRE WEATHER: The only place right now where fire is a concern is in SoCal, where the “elevated” and “critical” risks are.

BLACK FRIDAY & THE WEEKEND: Taking a look at the weather for what will probably be the most unusual Black Friday that any of us have seen, a weak disturbance will drop into the area on the nose of Canadian high pressure building in for the weekend. We’ll see some snows this afternoon and tonight in the high country with minor accumulations. Some of this will slip into the Front Range, mainly along and west of I-25 between Fort Collins and the Springs as well, but I do not anticipate any travel issues or significant accumulations. Depending on where you are, some of that along I-25 could be rain as opposed to snow. Black Friday’s pre-dawn clouds should be gone by 7 AM, and you can expect sunny skies with temperatures climbing to the 45-50 range in the Metro, and 42-48 in the outlying areas. Saturday’s forecast includes abundant sunshine and mild temperatures topping out around 54 some spots could see as high as 58! Sunday we’ll keep the clear skies but turn the winds around to the north and cool things down to around 41.

Have a great Turkey Day! – Forecaster Mike

Winter Preview Starts Tonight

Good Evening!

Crazy, changeable Colorado weather takes a cold turn tonight as our first significant Canadian storm system roars into the region. Accumulating snows are coming to the high country and into the Front Range, as far as the I-25 corridor and even a bit east of that!

WINTER STORM WARNINGS START SOON: While the flakes you saw in the Metro earlier was ash blowing from wildfires active to the west, especially up in Boulder, we’ll start to see flakes of the snow variety later tonight. Winter Storm Warnings will start at midnight for the following places:

South and East Jackson/Larimer/North and Northeast Grand/
Northwest Boulder Counties Above 9000'; South and Southeast Grand/West Central and Southwest Boulder/Gilpin/Clear Creek/Summit/North and West Park Counties Above
9000'; Larimer and Boulder Counties Between 6000’ and 9000';
South and East Jackson/Larimer/North and Northeast Grand/ Northwest Boulder Counties Above 9000‘; South and Southeast Grand/West Central and Southwest Boulder/Gilpin/Clear Creek/Summit/North and West Park Counties Above 9000’; Larimer and Boulder Counties Between 6000’and 9000'; Jefferson and West Douglas Counties Above 6000’; Gilpin/Clear Creek/Northeast Park Counties Below 9000'; Central and Southeast Park County- Elbert/Central and East Douglas Counties Above 6000; Jefferson and West Douglas Counties Above 6000'; Gilpin/Clear
Creek/Northeast Park Counties Below 9000’ and Southeast Park County-Elbert/Central and East Douglas Counties Above 6000’

We can expect winds up to 35 MPH, and accumulating snows up to 18″ in the highest elevations. The Front Range could see up to 4″ in some spots. Locally in Denver, it appears that a dusting to 3″ of snow is possible depending on location. If you’re south along the Palmer Divide. locally higher amounts up to say, 6″ are possible, then ramping up as you get higher in elevation. Be safe out there tonight!

-Forecaster Mike Estwick

Winter Weather Mischief Afoot

Good Morning!

Big changes are on the way for the Denver Metro, and Front Range from Colorado Springs all the way north to the state line and into Wyoming.

A robust winter storm is loaded up and heading this way, and we can expect conditions to start deteriorating quickly starting late afternoon.

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WHAT’S CAUSING ALL THIS?: Quite simply, a strong surface low entering the region via the Four Corners. Any time you have a strong low tracking east-northeast from over the Four Corners/Durango part of the world, you have to be on your toes. We also have good moisture and cold air available from Canada, so all the ingredients are in place.

Take a look at the low right there on the Four Corners. Here’s the Hi-Res Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model FutureCast at 5 PM this afternoon. You see the blue over the northern part of the Front Range Urban Corridor – just in time to make PM drive a hot (or cold) mess. If we look further into the future, with a FutureCast from the European model at 5 AM tomorrow, we see this:

Plan to work from home if possible, or allow PLENTY of extra time to head into work if you must be out. Here you see the snow has spread all the way down past the Springs and toward Pueblo.

BOTTOM LINE: Prepare for a SIGNIFICANT winter weather event starting in the next 5 to 8 hours in the area. I’ll be watching it for you here, and we’ll keep you advised.

– Forecaster Mike Estwick, Front Range Weather

One For The Books!

Goodness! You talk about bipolar weather! Mother Nature definite showed a Gemini twist with the weather the last 24-36 hours! We went from summery conditions to winter, with snow included, in the space of less than a day!

The front started to make it’s presence known around 5 PM, just in time for the PM rush. Skies around the Metro clouded up with dust, thanks to the strong winds pushing out ahead of the frontal boundary. For awhile it looked like a wildfire was burning close by and the smoke pall was carried into town, or the start of an Arizona dust/sandstorm (called a haboob).

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It’s chilly in the area now, here’s the latest observations as of 6:00 AM MDT:

Boulder: 21°, Longmont: 21°, Erie: 18°, Broomfield: 18°, DIA: 12°, Buckley AFB: 16°, Centennial Airport: 14°

We’ll see highs in Denver today topping out in the mid 40’s. The weekend will be much more seasonable, readings will rebound back into the 60’s!

Whew – what a roller coaster! Have a good one!