Wednesday PM Update: Snowfall Forecast and Cold Update

We continue to track the next storm system to impact the state with snow and cold. Yes, both are expected across the metro area and, yes, you may have some slower commutes before we get to the weekend.

Cold and Snow Arrive
No, this won't be a "polar plunge" type of system. Yet, temperatures in the 30s Thursday followed by days of 20s are ahead of us.

The snow chance is for Thursday and Friday. However, there will be a couple/few waves of snowfall. The first, heaviest midday Thursday with the plunging temperatures. The second will be Thursday night/Friday morning. The last snow-surge likely midday Friday. The combined total of this is what I will discuss now.

Please note, that much of the snow to accumulate will probably be coming from the wave Thursday night and Friday morning, with more isolated accumulations in the first wave.

The modeling trend has been to increase the amount of snowfall for the greater metro area. Given many factors we agree, although we do proceed cautiously as the probabilities of these totals are on the low end.

That said, there are supporting factors for accumulating snow - temperatures, sun angle, and a better looking upper level setup than 24 hours ago.

The highest snowfall total of the modeling is from the EURO deterministic model, with upwards of 8" for Denver in both last night's and today's run. That total is through Friday night. The probability of this occurring is far lower, however, as the EURO ensemble forecast is about half this total. The GFS has upwards of 6" for Denver, but it's ensemble version is only a half to quarter that much. Other models are less bullish, but only lesser by a couple/few inches. The NAM is the preferred model for us this go-round. It has support from the SREF, RPM, RAP, etc.. Granted the shorter range models should be of a similar opinion, and are this time. The SREF probability of getting more than 4" maxes at 17% chance for Denver. We like the blend of the shorter range/NAM outputs and that's what is reflected here.

Initial snowfall forecast
As this system continues to evolve it may mean we'll need to make changes to this forecast either later this evening or early Thursday. Stay tuned.

As of Wednesday afternoon's data, here is our snowfall forecast from early Thursday though Friday night: We remain cautious to see if the short range modeling suddenly increases to catch up with the GFS/EURO or vice-versa. That will remain to be seen until, likely, tomorrow.

Weather5820 snowfall forecast

Again, we think if this system pulls through with good accumulation, that will likely be with the second wave Thursday into Friday. We'll continue to track things tonight and tomorrow, and pass along any adjustments to the forecast as needed. Bundle up for the return of winter! Stay tuned.

Matt Makens

Matt Makens has won 5 Emmys for his weather coverage. He has the seal of approval from the NWA and is a certified Broadcast Meteorologist as designated by the AMS. He works for Colorado's Own Ch 2.

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