Major winter storm for central U.S., Denver on cusp

Snow in the forecast for Denver Wednesday night and Thursday
National Weather Service AdvisoriesIt is looking like it will be a very busy next 24 to 48 hours in the weather world here in Colorado, with a major winter storm threatening to bring significant snowfall to the eastern plains, and even some snow to Denver. As mentioned earlier this week, confidence has been pretty good about the development of this system, and with that, winter weather advisories and warnings have been posted for most of Kansas and Nebraska, and even some of the far eastern counties of Colorado beginning Wednesday evening.

For Denver, the forecast is not so easy. After a sluggish weekend, models started to come around yesterday to the potential of a better snow event for the city. The westward trend continued with this morning's model runs, but nearly all models began shifting the eventual storm track further south - a trend that if continued, could hurt totals in Denver. At this point, the models just do not seem to have a good handle on what will happen along the I-25 corridor. Some of the more bullish models have had several runs with 6 - 8" for Denver, while some of the more reliable (traditionally) models have been closer to the 2 - 4" and even 1 - 3" range. Additional disagreements have also generated some rather sporadic totals west of about Limon, so pinpointing who will do best around Denver remains tricky.

Our best chance for accumulating snow, if we see any, will come Wednesday into Thursday morning. Thursday will be quite chilly, with snow diminishing during the day.

Tonight's model runs will be crucial, and theoretically help shore up some of the details. If the southern shift continues, my optimism will sway a bit that we will see a few inches in Denver. If the European model can stick with it's 2 - 6" range, I might feel okay about things. On the outside chance things suddenly look awesome, I will probably lose it!

With no advisories issued at this point, and still a good 24 hours before our chance of snow begins, still plenty of time to see how things start to come together. More updates to follow, to be certain!

Brendan Heberton

Brendan is founder of Weather5280. He is co-founder of FreshyMap, and develops software for geospatial data analysis and visualization.

Denver, Colorado
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