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Thursday Update: The Front Range Forecast: Small snow chances Friday; Big snow Monday/Tuesday?

In Brief:

Chilly with some snow Friday, a big storm possible as the week begins.

Thursday update.

As we try to thaw out from our deposit of ice, another front/cold air surge will bring chances of snow most of the day on Friday with a peak/burst of snow in the afternoon right before the drive time (Figure 2 update). Right now, it looks like snow accumulations will be really light along I-25 (Figure 3 update).

I do want to highlight the next cold front on Monday where a more significant period of snowfall is expected (Figure 2 update). The GFS is going crazy with this one presently giving the areas around Boulder to western Denver 12-14 inches of snow.  Areas along I25 from Ft. Collins to Denver get 6-10 inches.

Forecasting wisdom says to not forecast with confidence the NEXT storm until the current storm (Friday) is done.  This is more of a heads up than a firm snowfall forecast at this point.

Figure2u_01202022
Figure 2 update: the 10 day graphical forecast for Denver from weatherunderground.com
Figure3u_01202022
Figure 3 update: the 48 hour snowfall total from the NAM and weather5280.com
 
Figure4u_01202022
Figure 4 update: the 10 day (10:1) snowfall total from the GFS and weather5280.com

End Thursday update.

Tuesday Update:

A weak and quick moving system will impact the state Wednesday. The temperature profile is such that freezing rain is possible in the morning.  It doesn't take much of that form of winter weather to impact travel.  The areas under a winter weather advisory (text below) is shaded blue in Figure 1 update.  Be safe in the morning!

Figure1u_01182022
Figure 1 update: the area under a winter weather advisory for Wednesday from the NWS.

Winter Weather Advisory

Issued: 2:49 PM Jan. 18, 2022 – National Weather Service

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM TO 8 PM MST
WEDNESDAY...

* WHAT...Freezing drizzle and light snow expected. Total snow
accumulation up to one inch and ice accumulations up to a tenth of
an inch.

* WHERE...Portions of central, east central, north central, and
northeast Colorado.

* WHEN...From 5 AM to 8 PM MST Wednesday. Worst conditions in the
morning.

* IMPACTS...Icy roads will make travel very difficult. Plan on
slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact
the Wednesday morning and evening commutes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Slow down and use caution while traveling. The latest road
conditions for Colorado can be obtained by calling 5 1 1 or by going
to www.cotrip.org

Roads will be slick resulting in slow and hazardous travel. Allow
extra time to reach your destination.

Sidewalks may be icy and very slippery.

End Tuesday update.

Forecast Discussion:

This holiday weekend will be beautiful (Figure 1). The warmest day of the weekend will be MLK Day as temperatures along I-25 approach an impressive (for mid-January) 60F.

The jet stream flow aloft will be out of the northwest (Figure 2) with a large ridge sitting to our west. All eyes will be on a deep south and east coast winter storm that will dump a lot of rain, ice, and snow depending on which side of the low a given city is located (Figure 3).

Figure1_01152022
Figure 1: the 10-day graphical forecast from weatherunderground.com for Denver, CO.
Figure2_01152022
Figure 2: the 500mb upper air forecast map for Sunday PM from the GFS and tropicaltidbits.com
Figure3_01152022
Figure 3: the forecast surface analysis for Sunday PM from NCEP.

The Longer-Range Forecast:

A chilly cold front sweeps down the state midday Tuesday, but precipitation chances with it are pretty low (Figure 1).  Another front Friday 'maybe' has a better chance of giving us a bit of snow. The GFS shows pretty minor snow amounts statewide over the next 10 days (Figure 4).

Figure4_01152022
Figure 4: the 10 day (10:1 ratio) total snowfall forecast from the GFS and weather5280.com

 


About the Author: John Ensworth

John Ensworth works from Longmont as the Principle Investigator for the NASA Science Mission Directorate Earth and space science education product review through the IGES (The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – www.strategies.org).
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Current Weather

Light rain

Light rain

39°F

UV Index
0 Low
Pressure
29.79 Rising
Visibility
3 miles
Dewpoint
36 °F
Humidity
89%
Wind
ESE 2.2 mph
Gust
4.3 mph
Wind Chill
39 °F

12 Hour Forecast

Today
7 AM
40°F
Showers
Today
8 AM
39°F
Rain
Today
9 AM
39°F
Rain
Today
10 AM
38°F
Rain
Today
11 AM
38°F
Cloudy
Today
12 PM
38°F
Rain
Today
1 PM
38°F
Rain
Today
2 PM
38°F
Rain and snow
Today
3 PM
38°F
Rain and snow
Today
4 PM
38°F
Rain
Today
5 PM
37°F
Cloudy
Today
6 PM
36°F
Rain and snow

7 Day Forecast

Rain and snow

Friday

38 °F

Rain mixing with snow with little or no accumulation


Snow

Friday Night

32 °F

Cold with 2-4 inches of wet snow; heavy wet snow can bring down trees and power lines


Rain and snow

Saturday

44 °F

Chilly; a bit of a.m. snow, then a shower; storm total 3-6"; slippery morning travel; highest accumulations on non-paved surfaces


Intermittent clouds

Saturday Night

29 °F

Partly cloudy and cold with the temperature tying the record from 2001; there will be a freeze


Showers

Sunday

54 °F

Mostly cloudy and cool; a passing afternoon shower


Showers

Sunday Night

39 °F

Plenty of clouds with a couple of showers, mainly early


Mostly cloudy

Monday

62 °F

Rather cloudy and cool


Thunderstorms

Monday Night

41 °F

Considerable clouds with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm, mainly later


Intermittent clouds

Tuesday

62 °F

Remaining cool with intervals of clouds and sunshine


Intermittent clouds

Tuesday Night

39 °F

Turning out clear


Sunrise and Sunset

Sunrise
5:41 AM
Sunset
8:14 PM

Based on AccuWeather data

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