Snowfall Totals, Bitter Cold, and a Look to the Weekend

Another pretty great snow for many areas yesterday, even as some along the northern urban corridor continue to miss on what has been overall an active pattern to end January and now start February. Despite many models depicting below average snowfall to start February for the Front Range, yesterday is exactly why we said to not sleep on this pattern.

We ended up with 5.2" of snow at our station on the south side of downtown Denver. Totals from 4 - 7" were common across central Denver and areas west and north of the city. The storm ended up digging a bit further south than many of the models depicted, giving Denver a great boom snow, while once more robbing areas around Loveland and Fort Collins, which ended up with totals on the low-end of our range.

The band that moved through during the lunch hour on Wednesday was one of the more impressive ones we see around here with snowfall rates easily hitting 2"/hour at times:

The secondary impulse brought another quick shot of snow to Denver Wednesday evening, and several more inches to the northern suburbs, but limited snow elsewhere:

We went with 1 - 4" broad brushed from Denver north to the state line and points northeast, with a note that 3 - 6" would be common wherever the heavier band set up. This worked out well. We see quite clearly in the interpolated snowfall totals map (above) that the heavier banded snowfall favored areas between Denver and Boulder yesterday. From our Tuesday forecast discussion:

It feels like the Westminster/Broomfield/Boulder area is set to do best with this system. Of course that band could end up slightly south or north and change that, but if I were a betting man that's how I'd lean.

Sure enough that's where we saw the greatest totals Thursday. A handful of 6 and 7" reports around Louisville, Lafayette, and Broomfield:

Denver International Airport once again came in lower than Denver proper. With totals of 4 - 5" in town, the official snow total for the date in Denver will be 3.1" as recorded at the airport.

Along with the snow we saw some of our coldest temperatures in years across Northeast Colorado. DIA bottomed out at -10°F this morning, while we hit 0° at our station around 6am. Across the state very cold air with temperatures in the single digits and below zero for most locations as of 7am this morning:

Nationally, a remarkable split between a VERY cold West and mild Southeast:

The weekend looks cool, but not all that eventful at the moment for our region. Highs Friday will climb into the 30s, look for mid 40s by Saturday, before perhaps a cooler (but mostly dry?) Sunday with highs back into the 30s for Denver. You can track the latest daily forecast outlook here.

We'll need to keep an eye on Sunday in case any snow showers are able to pull of the mountains. Right now a few models try to pull a snow shower or two across the Northeast Plains early Sunday morning along with the reinforcing cold air... but nothing that looks all too impactful at this time. Best chance for a surprise on Sunday looks to be from Boulder north to Fort Collins and points east. Stay in touch.

Another (stronger) system will race across the state on Monday into Tuesday. This one at this time is forecast to remain too far north for much snow along the urban corridor... but, we saw how yesterday's ended up further south than most models wanted to take it, so let's keep and eye on this one. At the very least more good mountain snow, and likely a chilly start to next week as well.

The GFS forecast for Monday evening shows good mountain snow and snow showers across Northeast Colorado

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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