Monday PM update: Snow could slow your evening and morning commutes

Morning models have delayed the onset of the heaviest snowfall by a few hours as compared to last night. However, we still see a good chance for snow for your evening commute, and often enough models are too slow on initialization. We are already seeing some returns on the radar this early afternoon, and we think, as we mentioned last night, you need to plan on snow for your evening commute (but hope for the best!).

Early afternoon radar showing snow showers starting to form

Not much change to our thinking from our forecast yesterday. We'll go a touch higher for the western and southern foothills as we do see a bit more potential for some high-end totals today, but in general, not sway much from our numbers yesterday.

For Denver, we'll go with a 1 - 4" of snow. At elevations west and south totals from 2 - 6" will be possible, with locally higher amounts should this thing really over-perform. For Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, we'll go 0 - 3", with most data showing the best snowfall potential will end up between these two cities.

We'll see snow on the increase across Northern Colorado through the early afternoon hours. For Denver, the chance of snow will climb during the late afternoon, with the best chance for accumulating snow coming between 4 pm and midnight. You can see in the animation below, snow coverage gradually increasing as we head toward the evening, then ending from north to south after midnight:

The HRRR through 1am shows totals mostly inline with our thinking. Colorado Springs in the snow hole (greatest totals for COS north and west), with Fort Collins near the cutoff as well:

The Euro shows 0.1 to 0.25" across the greater Denver metro area, which would indicate 1 - 4" definitely is doable –– again, heaviest totals on the south and west side:

And our latest gamblers...

North:

Central:

South:

Tough call on a start time of the heavier snow today. Some models are slower with the onset, which would be great news for the evening commute. I'm inclined to say it's best to plan on snow for your evening drive and plan accordingly. IF we can get it to hold off a few hours, this is great news... but it seems like a pretty good chance we see snow by the evening drive at the latest from where we sit right now.

For tomorrow morning, the snow should be mostly done. The greater concern will be icy and snow-packed roads if the forecast pans out as expected. Lows will drop into the low teens to upper single digits Tuesday morning, which will add to the pain.

Bottom line: give yourself extra time on the roads tonight and tomorrow, especially between Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.

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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