Monday PM update: A mostly quiet work week, snow returns to the state this weekend

While we've tracked a few bands of snow today peeling off the mountains, the weather has for the most part been quiet east of the hills in recent days.

In the mountains, snow has made travel difficult. Below is a look at Berthoud Pass early this afternoon, showing icy and snow packed conditions on the roadways. Snow as mostly come to an end across teh high country this afternoon, but a spotty 1 - 3" will be possible through this evening.

Over the next several days the weather turns drier across most of the state. Really until late Thursday we don't expect much in the way of rain or snow across Colorado.

By Thursday night the first in a series of waves that will impact our weather through the weekend will move into the the region, bringing with it more snow to the northern and central mountains Friday into Saturday.

There is a small chance we see some of those showers cross onto the plains as well, but for the moment it looks like most likely the wet weather stays up in the hills to end the week.

Over the weekend plenty of moisture and a strong Pacific jet will combine to bring heavy snowfall to the Northern and Central mountains. We'll see several short waves deliver multiple rounds of snow from Friday night through Sunday, with snowfall totals in excess of a foot likely for many of the mountain resorts by early next week.

What happens across the plains is more tricky. It does, however, look like we too will see the chance of rain (yes a bit of rain perhaps) and snow this weekend. Much of the focus from the models seems to be on a wave that moves through late Saturday night or perhaps Sunday morning, which could very well deliver some accumulating snow to the I-25 corridor and adjacent plains.

The latest European ensemble probabilities show about 30 to 50% odds (higher than I thought it would be when I went to look, frankly) for 3 inches or more of snow along the urban corridor and points southeast through Monday next week, the bulk of that coming Sunday into Monday from this particular model. Note the reds across much of the high country, as confidence is good that we'll see another round of heavy mountain snowfall this weekend:

Our gamblers some some potential, but plenty of uncertainty means not huge odds even for low-end accumulation potential at this time:

For its part, the GFS has backed off snow potential for eastern Colorado Sunday into Monday, showing some snow up in the foothills Sunday evening, but drying across the Plains:

Its operational run this afternoon shows exactly 0 inches in Denver through Monday, in contrast with most of the ensembles right now that show some snow across the urban corridor:

Finally, the GEFS (GFS ensemble) shows an unsettled weekend for Denver –– but far from any agreement on timing and how much (if any) precipitation the city sees. The chart on top shows the mean temperature forecast (red line), with temperatures cooling for the weekend. The bottom chart shows six hour precipitation totals forecast by each ensemble member (y axis). Not most have some moisture around for the weekend, but a huge array of possibilities on how much and when, with a few showing virtually none at all:

Snow or no snow it looks colder for the weekend into early next week. Temperatures for the remainder of this week look to be in the mid 40s or so for Denver (perhaps a few degrees cooler for the Fort, and a few degrees warmer for the Springs), but overall a very climatologically average next several days across the region. By the weekend temperatures drop into the 30s behind Friday's cold front, and should stay there (or perhaps colder if it snows) into early next week.

Three day temperature outlook for Denver, CO

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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