Slip sliding away! Heaviest snow to skirt Colorado Springs, not much expected for the Denver area

This has been a tiresome one. A low confidence system, with at times seemingly high-end potential, continues to fade before it's even really started. As we discussed in our update yesterday best dynamics will stay well south of the Denver area, and with that only light accumulation (if any at all) is expected across the metro area through Monday.

Colorado Springs remains under an advisory, but it too will be at the northern edge of heaviest snow it seems. Models keep pushing back start times and lowering snow totals for the city, so we'll see where things end up. Most data still indicates our low-end 3" total should be possible for the city, with perhaps some higher totals should things align just right tonight.

For the northern urban corridor it could be the Fort Collins area, rather ironically, ends up with the most snow this weekend after a burst of heavy snow Saturday delivered a narrow strip of 2 - 3" to the area. The band, which caused the National Weather Service to issue a Snow Squall Warning, was picked up on late –– but eventually the models got there. Here was the midday NAM forecast yesterday through early this morning which panned out well:

This morning the same model has the following through Monday:

It's clear where the heavies snow will end up. It has a good snow for the Colorado Springs area still, with 4 - 6" across the board –– most of that comes tonight, with ongoing showers on Monday. Tough to argue too much with this outlook, BUT it feels like this is the high-end scenario at this point for Colorado Springs, with other high-res data showing easily half that much snow for COS. In any event, it looks like the snow potential for the Denver area is somewhere in the nothing to 1" range. Ho-hum.

The snowfall gambler charts are as follows... Not much potential up north, Castle Rock still in the running for some accumulation tonight (though consider me skeptical!) and Colorado Springs with some high-end potential still, but only real confidence showing up in the 1 - 3" range at this point. The southern shift has upped probabilities for Pueblo as you might expect:

Monday remains chilly and unsettled, especially across Southeast Colorado as the storm slowly exits. Below is a look at the hourly planner for COS, showing the best snow potential this afternoon and tonight, but lingering showers in the forecast for Monday along with very cold temperatures:

A warming and drying trend is still forecast through the remainder of the work week. Ridging (reds below) is expected to build in from the west slowly through the week, and be firmly in place by week's end. This will lead to temperatures near and above average for much of the state for the latter half of the week and next weekend.

By Christmas week models show a highly amplified pattern in place across the United States with another large upper level trough digging into Southern California. This may eventually impact our weather during the holiday week, so something to keep an eye on. Right now it looks like at least another round of mountain snow, in what has already been a great December for the high country!

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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