It's been quite some time since Denver has rumbled the word "snow", but it's true—snow is back in the forecast! There's also a lot of cold air coming, ending our stretch of warmth.
We've been experiencing some mild weather recently, and by the time Wednesday rolls around, we will be stuck under clouds and shivering in freezing temperatures. The storm that I'm watching is going to be a storm that will benefit so many areas of the state. Namely, the southwestern corner of the state where they are battling severe drought.
While some areas have seen a reprieve of their drought concerns - drought conditions are worsening slowly across southwestern Colorado.— Andy Stein (@AndySteinWx) November 18, 2019
Hopefully, this influx of snow will help a bit (or a lot...)#Drought #COwx pic.twitter.com/BuyNwYWkEx
The drought is impacting much of Colorado, but with the incoming storm, we will hopefully see a little bit of an improvement in our drought status. Most of the snow that has fallen already this season has fallen in the north-central mountains where there is little, if any, drought and that is a result of the snowy October we had. Record snow fell in Denver where we experienced one of the top 5 snowiest Octobers on record. The October snows also aided in several ski areas opening their slopes early!
This next round of snow won't be record-breaking for Denver, but it will be a shock to the system since we've been more warm and dry lately. While this storm has the potential to drop several inches of snow on Denver, head into the mountains, especially the San Juan mountains, and you'll find yourself in FEET of snow. So what's making this storm different than the others that have impacted us?
What makes this storm special is where it is coming from. This storm is coming from southwest of us—think Southern California and the Baja. A couple of low-pressure systems have been meandering around Southern California and they are going to phase together and slowly move across our area. It will begin snowing in the High Country by early Wednesday morning and begin raining in Denver Wednesday afternoon before quickly transitioning over to all snow. Something of note is that we will likely experience our high temperature on Wednesday just before noon—so make sure you dress for colder weather for when you leave work. Also, brace for a wet commute.
Snow will fall through much of the night into Thursday morning and the snow will continue at varying intensities throughout the day Thursday and linger into Friday morning. That's a solid 36 hours of clouds and possible snow. So, brace yourself to not see the Sun until Friday afternoon. Although it will be a longer-duration event, the snow will be mainly light. With that said, there could be some bursts of heavier snow at times. If those bursts of heavier snow line up with the morning or evening commutes, expect some pretty big slowdowns. Although, even with snow falling during the commute, you could expect delays. With that said, roads should largely be okay. There may be slushy and snow-covered side streets but the main thoroughfares should be in decent shape.
Total snow in Denver will be between 2-5"; however, there is a possibility of some favored areas to get a little bit more. What we need to watch carefully is how quickly (or not) we change over to snow. If it rains for a longer period than currently expected, we could see snow totals go down.
Get the snow scrapers out and get yourself ready for cold air. Thursday is likely to remain right around freezing all day.
Oh, real quick, if you're a snow lover—it looks like we have an active pattern starting up which could impact our Thanksgiving travels. Just keep that in the back of your head.