Denver weather: Meteorologists warn to plan ahead for possible record-setting snowstorm

Some long-term weather models are predicting Denver will receive 40 or more inches of snow over the weekend. Meteorologists say it’s too early to say how much snow Denver will get, but are warning to make plans ahead of the storm. Still, there will be one more day of warmth before Colorado swings towards a possible record snowmaker.

Denver will hit 66 degrees under mostly sunny skies on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. It will fall to 33 degrees overnight, when snow will pick up in the northern mountains. A winter weather advisory is in effect for the Rabbit Ears Pass area.

“We tend to see larger amounts out of storms when we see the seasons change,” Lisa Kriederman, a forecaster from NWS, said. “The mountains will start seeing some impact this evening at 8 p.m. in the park range around Steamboat. There’s potential for snow amounts up to seven inches through Wednesday.”

Denver has a slight chance of rain Wednesday with a high of 53 degrees and winds reaching 16 mph. Some light snow will occur in the mountains, with those showers possibly finding their way out onto the plains. The low will sink to 28 degrees downtown, where there’s a chance for some flurries before midnight.

Thursday’s high will be 48 degrees with a 30% chance of a rain-snow mix and winds up to 17 mph. Thursday evening will be a preview of what’s to come with some snow showers and a low of 28 degrees.

“It’s offshore Oregon, dropping south, coming onshore over California Thursday morning,” Kriederman said of the low-pressure system on Tuesday. “It’s a slow-moving storm; upslope flow, good lift over Denver. Friday night to Saturday will likely be the heaviest of the snow. There’s a possibility of light snow amounts Thursday. The four corners low is a good snow producer for the urban range corridor.”

Around lunchtime on Friday is when the massive snowmaker will kick-off. The NWS says: “a large storm system is still on track to bring snow to the Front Range mountains, foothills, Urban Corridor and eastern plains. There is a chance for prolonged significant snowfall, but there remains a high degree of uncertainty regarding the intensity, duration, and timing of impacts at this time.”

Models have predicted anywhere from six feet of snow in Boulder to around 13 inches on Denver’s low end. It should be a wet, heavy, spring snowstorm that lasts until Sunday night.

The early low-end models of what the storm could be would still have significant impacts. If the largest projections come true, it may be Denver’s biggest snowstorm ever. It is coming on the heels of the city’s biggest snowmaker in five years that buried Denver two weeks ago.

“There will be a upslope flow up to 32,000 feet. Any moisture will move up and squeeze out over the mountains,” Kriederman noted. “We will have plenty of moisture to work with coming off the gulf. It’s going to be an issue. People should be making their plans for this weekend; they should concentrate on where they should be Friday and Saturday. It’s early, but people should think about where they need to be.”

 

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