Saturday snow could boom or bust

These systems that swing out of the deep Southwest and swing sharply north/northeast are not a lot of fun to pin down across Eastern Colorado. The tendency is for models to overdo snowfall –– we saw that today across the far Eastern Plains. They will very often accelerate as they turn north and leave us with very little snow, despite the anticipation. That said, often is not always, and sometimes they can deliver.

Data today has been about as all over the place you'll ever see, even for around here. Tonight we do see a bit more potential for a couple inches along the urban corridor beginning early (early) Saturday morning, then continuing off and on through Saturday afternoon.

The National Weather Service has issued an Advisory for Denver, which seems prudent. Despite a high bust potential, we do see enough support for some 2 - 5" totals (though not for everyone) in and around the Denver area to warrant an advisory, especially considering the gusty winds expected on Saturday.

The models
The GFS has been the snowiest of all the models, and rather consistently. We've mostly ignored it –– it's painted 4 - 8" (and more) across the Denver area for the last several days. This afternoon it didn't change much:

This evening we see it coming more in line with our idea, showing 1 - 4" across the Denver area, and perhaps a swath of heavier snow out northeast. Perhaps it's finally right?

Then there's the NAM, which tonight came in much drier. Is it picking up on the acceleration we are have anticipating? Perhaps. It's only showing 1 - 3" across the area, most of that coming tomorrow afternoon:

The HRRR has 1 - 3" across the metro through 10 am tomorrow morning and snow continuing:

And finally, the Euro. It's showing 2 - 3" across most of Northeast Colorado:

The WPC map we've been sharing seems like a reasonable compromise at this time. It has 2 - 4" across the Palmer, a Trace to 3" for the urban corridor, and 2 - 6" Northeast:

It's a tough call, frankly. We like where we sit with our numbers ... and could see either scenario pan out: a) a straight miss across the board, or b) a nice snow of 2 - 5" across most of Northeast Colorado. We'll know in a few short hours! In either event, plan on a rather raw Saturday, with the chance of snow picking up late tonight and continuing into Saturday night across Northeast Colorado.

Let us know how much you get or don't get!

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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