Get ready, Denver! You're about to get hit with weather whiplash!
An abnormally strong surge of cold air is looking to impact us here in Colorado from Saturday night to next Friday. For a solid 7 days straight, we are looking to see temperatures run about 10-20 degrees below average. There’s also supposed to be above-average moisture during that period, and you can imagine what that means ...
Denver averages 6.8 inches of snow per April on a given year. Clearly, some Aprils see more snow and others less. As we head into a cooler and wetter time, we will see some snow. It will likely be heavy, wet snow, and it will be cold. Early estimates are for 6-12-plus inches of snow to fall in the mountains and the Foothills from Saturday to Monday. These numbers will definitely change before we get there and they could change in regard to higher totals and colder temps.
So, what's happening to cause this? There’s a low-pressure system swirling over SoCal. It’s not able to move because there's nothing bigger than it in the atmosphere to move it, so it’s just sitting there and bringing SoCal a lot of heavy rain. Flood watches are up for just about all of Southern Cali with Winter Storm Warnings up for the mountains surrounding Los Angeles.
Eventually, a low pressure will break off the main jet, which is to the north of us, and that will grab a lot of cold Canadian air and sag to the south. That low pressure is going to be big enough to attract the smaller low pressure over California and move it over the Four Corners region.
Essentially, a lot of ingredients are coming together perfectly for a setup of moderate to heavy snow in Colorado.
Temperatures are going to remain nice and warm through Saturday afternoon, with highs pushing 70 degrees! And then, it might snow Saturday night. Once the cold front moves in, temperatures will stay cold through the middle of next week.
All of the models show precipitation starting Saturday night and continue through Monday, with snow totals ranging from moderate to rather big. It looks like there’s a general consensus that we will see at least 2-6 inches of snow in Downtown Denver, but there are signs that we could have a better upslope component, colder temperatures, and more moisture, so some models are hinting at a possible 5-10 inches.
Regardless of how much snow falls, we will likely be put under a winter weather advisory (for the lower totals) or a winter storm warning (for the higher totals).
What kind of stinks with this is that it’s going to be a long-duration event because it’s not just one disturbance that is bringing snow, it’s two. Looking past Tuesday, the cold is staying put—especially with a lot of fresh snow on the ground. There are also signs of more snow coming down the pipeline as we head towards next weekend.
So, bundle up. It’s going to be a cold and snowy ride for the foreseeable future.
As we continue to do our part in Colorado, a stretch of snowy weather will hopefully ease some of the FOMO we are all experiencing not being able to go outside as much as we’d like.