Pattern Delivers, Northeast Colorado Blanketed With Snow

Denver International Airport, where official records are kept, recorded 3.4 inches of snow on Thursday, which is the 3rd highest snowfall total on Christmas day since 1882.

alt snow Denver coloradoHeavy snow falls in Denver, Colorado December 25, 2014

Storm snowfall totals ranged from just a few inches to upwards of 10” in the foothills. Downtown Denver saw totals from 3 to 5” with 4.5” at our station 1 mile south of the capitol. Overall our forecast worked out very well, with most locations coming in nicely in range. We were low for a few locations across the western suburbs and immediate foothills, but covered with notes for locally higher amounts possible. Here are a few snow totals from across the region, and our forecast totals:

14.9” -- Eldorado Springs (forecast 5 - 10”+)
9.4” -- Morrison (forecast 4 - 7”+)
9.0” -- 3 miles south/southwest Conifer (5 - 10”)
7.0” -- 1 mile northeast Loveland (forecast 4 - 7”)
6.3” -- 6 miles northwest Denver (forecast 4 - 7”)
5.3” -- 2 miles northeast Thornton (forecast 4 - 7”)
5.0” -- 3 miles southeast Fort Collins (forecast 3 - 6”)
4.5” -- 1 mile south Denver (forecast 3 - 6”)
4.0” -- Iliff (forecast 1 - 3”)

Aside from some lingering snow showers today, the worst of the snow is now over. Temperatures will remain very cold across northeast Colorado with afternoon highs in the low 20s, and overnight lows tonight dropping into the single digits.

Chilly weekend followed by colder week
I know we’ve talked a lot about this pattern and how we fully expected the end of December to be much different than the start. While the pattern has been far more favorable for snow over the last 10 days, until yesterday things just didn’t set up quite right for Denver. We saw one system deliver good snow to the eastern Plains, followed by another delivering feet of snow to the mountains, and finally a good storm of the Front Range foothills and I-25 corridor.

The remaining week of the year continues to look cold and unsettled. We’ll stay in the 20s for Saturday, possibly climb into the 30s for Sunday, before more cold air dives south Sunday night and Monday. With this blast of cold air we’ll see another chance for snow across eastern Colorado. Not overly optimistic on snow totals with this next system, but something to watch. It could be, as often is with arctic blasts, the bigger story will be the cold -- not snow. A few inches are certainly not out of the question, however, so we’ll offer a more indepth look at this over the weekend.

While Sunday night and Monday appear to be our best chance for snowfall in the 5 day, we’ll remain slightly unsettled into the middle of next week with arctic air really digging in. As it stands, there’s a chance we see some of the coldest air of the season by New Years Eve across Colorado -- remember November anyone?

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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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