The State of the Atmosphere for Sunday, December 22, 2013

The much anticipated cool down arrived Thursday night. Since then we have seen several quick hitting systems bring scattered snow showers to the plains and several inches to many mountain resorts over the last several days. On saturday evening we saw a good burst of snow along the Front Range, but accumulations amounted to very little.

Today remains chilly and there will be another slight chance of snow Sunday evening. Little to no accumulation is expected. The sun is set to return Monday, with temperatures warming back into the 40s for Denver.

Stormy East
While Colorado is experiencing relatively quiet weather, the central United States has been active. On the cold side of the storm was an elongated area of significant snowfall from Oklahoma north to Michigan, while the warm side saw a significant threat for severe weather and torrential rain. Adding to the mess was a large swath of freezing rain and ice.

Here was the scene from Wichita Kansas yesterday, shot by @BrandonIveyWX.

Holiday travel remains a concern today as the rain, wind, snow and ice push north and east. Flooding will be a concern throughout the day in the southeast, while winter weather warnings and advisories have been posted for significant snow and ice for portions of the northeast through Sunday night.

Outlook
Chances for snow flakes on Christmas remain less than 10%. Tuesday evening yet another fast moving short wave will zip across the state, but at this time it does not appear that Denver will see any flakes from the system. The north central mountains might see a quick shot of snow, and a few flurries may drift off the foothills north of Denver. We don't expect to see much else.

If you're hoping for snow, the extended outlook for Denver continues to look rather ho-hum. None of the global operational runs have any real chance for snow in Denver over the next seven days, and mid-range ensembles are continuing to battle between warmth returning to the west to start January, or another possible shot of arctic air. This will be a fight to watch over the coming days, but there is little sense in speculating one direction or another at this time.

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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