Friday's rain and snow chance, Thursday PM update

We continue to track the chance for rain and snow Friday, especially late in the day, through Saturday.

Although the total impact will be hit and miss, some areas will have enough snow to bring some slush and snow to roadways –– albeit a low impact considering so many of us shelter in place.

Let's watch the system from Thursday evening through Saturday evening.

That L, center of lowest pressure, develops over the eastern plains and then gains strength as it pushes northeast toward Des Moines.

Based on that position, a brief bit of upslope is possible over the northern Front Range and that will be our best shot at some accumulating snow.

However, it's a mix of rain then snow we are looking for considering the warm temperatures. So for much snowfall, we'd need the system to slow a bit to bring its heaviest impact early Saturday morning, a delay of 6 to 12 hours, during the coldest temperatures.

Hourly Planner - Denver

Fort Collins:
Hourly Planner - Fort Collins

Colorado Springs:
Hourly Planner - Colorado Springs

With the timing in mind, there will be a mix of rain and snow later Friday until Friday evening when the changeover occurs.

The snowfall forecast accounts for that. For totals, most of us end up in the 0 - 4" range. Where we do see that slushy accumulation much of that will be on raised surfaces. If the system scoots east we're looking at the 0 - 1" range for the urban corridor, if it slows by a few hours as mentioned above... some 3 - 4" totals will be possible. Here's a good idea of what we expect, with again –– some potential to over-perform in spots east of Denver, mainly between I-70 and I-76 Friday night into Saturday morning:

Weather5280 Snowfall Forecast

Probabilistically, the greatest odds for 3" of snow or more is for the northern Front Range mountains (a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect here), areas between Denver and Colorado Springs, and then again due east of Denver where we may see a period of heavy snow develop Friday night and early Saturday. Odds for Denver and along the northern urban corridor, as well as for the Colorado Springs area are much lower:

For precipitation, some beneficial moisture for some. The heaviest stuff is expected over the Eastern Plains, mainly north of I-70:

Wind and travel conditions
Wind will be gusty over the plains, adding to the problem of chilly temperatures and precipitation for ranchers and travelers here.

Since travel is with far less volume these days we won't hit that topic too hard.

If you are running a cow/calf operation and are currently calving on the Palmer Divide or along and north of I-70, make sure your animals have some shelter Friday night and early Saturday. The wind and wet snow combo could be a bit nasty for at time, in those areas.

The system gradually clears Saturday, although the wind may remain for a time. Temperatures rebound a bit, back into the 50s.

Sunday will be the sunnier of the two weekend days, and a bit warmer with the upper 50s.


This is a collaborative post from multiple authors at Weather5280.

Denver, Colorado
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