Warm weekend ahead, cooler weather returns next week, but at the moment no big storms forecast

If "sunny and warm" gets you into the Christmas spirit, this weekend's weather comes with perfect timing! Latest MOS guidance has highs climbing to near 60°F on Saturday and perhaps into the low to mid-60s for Sunday:

While no bitter cold is in the seven-day outlook at this time, we do gradually cool off next week as a series of systems push through from the west.

Barring any significant changes to the outlook between now and then, Christmas Day looks to be seasonally average for temperatures, with highs in the low to mid-40s and lows in the low 20s (average is 46°F and 18°F on the 25th).

This weekend's warmth (heat?) is thanks to a strong ridge that will move overhead during the next several days. This pattern should work to keep the state mostly rain and snow-free and warmer than average into early next week.

Strong ridging in place this weekend for Colorado

By the middle part of next week, we see the ridge has moved east and more troughing is in place across the west. This will help to cool our temperatures across Eastern Colorado and may equate to some rain and snow showers across the Eastern Plains by Wednesday of next week.

Those precipitation chances for the Plains, however, are low. If you hope for snow, the mountains look to be your best bet next week. The southern and central mountains could end up with some appreciable snowfall next week, but that depends on how exactly things evolve.

Currently, the odds of an inch or more of snow between now and Christmas night are somewhere in the 5 - 10% range for Eastern Colorado. Across the Great Basin and Western Colorado, the odds are much higher:

If we drag that out to the first of the New Year, odds still aren't amazing but show the pattern may at least deliver something before the month is said and done. We'll see.

So far this month, DIA has only recorded a Trace of snow three times, with no measurable snowfall to date. The last time Denver didn't record any measurable snow in December was 1906, and it's only happened one other year other than that (1905). Last year the city saw just 0.5" of snow before heading into a relatively snowy Jan/Feb/Mar period.

Luckily it's not all bad news. If you're feeling sad about the snow situation in Denver, remember we've not only had a very snowy early season, but there's plenty of the white stuff to be had if you head west! All of Colorado's basins are running above average for snowpack, with an active storm track which really delivered this month for the Great Basin and Southwest:

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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