After a stretch of insignificant weather over the last few weeks, there are a few storms on the horizon that could bring thunderstorms and snow to the area. One of which could bring the season’s first significant snowfall to the Colorado Rockies and possibly even to Denver and the Front Range.
‘Tis the season that we start to watch big areas of low pressure swing down from the cold north that bring mountainous locations cold, wind and snow. Even lower elevations of the urban corridor will likely see very changeable weather move through by this time next week.
The average first date of snow in Denver occurs on Oct. 18 but the last few years have given us snow prior to that date and given the current forecast, we could once again have snow earlier than average along the Front Range.
Our first storm begins to move across Colorado this weekend. Snow levels will remain relatively high but as a cold front traverses the state Saturday, snow levels may drop to 9,000 feet which means that places like Conifer and Idaho Springs could have their first dusting of the season this weekend.
This storm is also expected to bring very windy conditions to many areas. Winds of 20-30 mph at lower elevations are possible with 40-60 mph winds possible above 9,000 feet as the strong winds of the jet stream pass overhead. A few showers and cooler weather are forecast for Denver on Sunday. This storm is approaching from the southwest so areas of the San Juans and Sangre De Cristo’s will see the most impact from this storm.
The storm to watch for Colorado
The weather quiets down for just about everyone on Monday which is when we turn our attention to our next storm that will be approaching from the northwest. This is the storm to watch for all of Colorado. Models have been very consistent with the strength and size of this storm but where they begin to differ is with the location of this storm. If you’ve ever tracked a winter storm in Colorado then you know that the difference of 50 to 100 miles makes a huge difference in terms of impacts. Especially for the Front Range.
Above 7,000 feet, wind and at least some snow are almost certain at this point. A storm of this magnitude and trajectory almost always delivers healthy snow totals to our mountains. Over a half foot to a foot of snow is possible across the central and northern mountains which would trigger winter weather advisories and possible winter storm warnings which means that travel conditions will deteriorate.
For the lower elevations like Denver, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs — windy conditions, cold weather and either a cold rain or snow will be falling at times between Tuesday and Wednesday. Given the current track of this storm, the setup up for severe weather and even some flooding for the Eastern Plains is on the table as something to watch as well.
There is still a lot of time between now and when the storm will begin to produce impacts across the state but let this be a quick reminder that winter is not too far off and that our weather, while beautiful, warm and sunny right now, will be changing quickly and soon. Updates to come.
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