Saturday's snowfall forecast is still mostly valid. We say, "mostly valid," just because some of the model imagery has changed a bit and there's been a drop in some snowfall indicators for the Denver area but we feel that the snowfall ratio being higher with this event's colder temperatures remains justification to keep with the previously published forecast, (read that forecast here):
And here are the latest gambler charts showing 1 - 3" being likely for most cities over the next three days, but varying probabilities for the higher-end totals. Trailing high-end probabilities for Boulder should not be ignored, nor should they for Castle Rock and Colorado Springs, as we expect best totals between now and Tuesday evening to be west of I-25, and south of Denver:
It goes without saying that we will see travel impacts, particularly west and south of Denver and a larger impact for those in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and the rest of Southern Colorado.
As we saw yesterday, it doesn't take a lot of snow to make for a bit mess on the roadways. Please use caution over the next several days as hit and miss snow showers will make for tough travel conditions at times. Take Saturday's mess on Pena Boulevard for one example:
UPDATE: 49 total vehicles involved in the crash. 17 total people injured. 3 were treated and released at the scene. 14 transported with what appears to be non-life threatening injuries. No citations will be issued. Peña expected to open in approximately one hour.— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) February 17, 2019
Weather was not directly blamed for this mess, as weather is usually not the ultimate reason for accidents, drivers going to fast for the weather conditions was blamed. Please, please, please take it slow on the roads when weather is impacting conditions.
Temperatures will be the other story over the coming days (for some the main story) as highs in Denver are forecast to be in the teens and 20s both Monday and Tuesday with overnight lows in the single digits. So, even if you see little to no snow, plan on a very cold start to the week across eastern Colorado.
Being a holiday weekend, and many folks aren't working or going to school, the timing of this storm lessens the overall impact of the system.
Temperatures being cold enough to support a lighter variety of snow increases the chance of ice on the surfaces. These colder events see blowing/light snow that gets compacted –– due to traffic –– leading to snow-packed/icy conditions.
For Denver, snow should begin after 5pm today and will steadily increase until reaching peak intensity by 5am lasting several hours through Monday morning before tapering off a bit by midday and afternoon. The impact will come in waves with oscillating intensities of snow showers. Those on the west and south sides of the city are forecast see the greatest impact from snow. With this said, this isn't a major snowstorm but based on events, like Saturday's, even a relatively low impact event turns into something much more significant based on time of day, traffic volume, and driver care on roads.
For the Colorado Springs area, when the snow moves in it will likely be impactful from the start. Most estimates have snowfall arriving this evening and periods of snow continuing off and on through Monday, and perhaps well into Tuesday.
Here's one model's forecast through midday Monday, showing snow developing across the Front Range foothills this afternoon, eventually spreading east across the I-25 urban corridor, Palmer Divide, and Southeast Plains tonight before tapering off a bit Monday. Areas north and east of Denver continue to look like they will see the lowest snowfall totals from this event.
This is part of a weather pattern, as discussed Saturday, that will remain active. Additional chances of snow remain for the week ahead –– any of which could be impactful. We'll keep the updates coming, but plan on a both chilly and occasionally snowy week ahead for much of Colorado.