Monday 2/1/2016 10:30 AM
Well, over the last few days we’ve gotten pretty deep into what will be happening today and tomorrow and the reasons for the snow that we’ll be experiencing. Today, I’m going to keep it short and sweet!
National Weather Service- Winter Storm Warning
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
Currently, snow is starting to fill in the gaps around the front range and plains and the rates are starting to increase. Heavier bands of snow will begin to make make their home over the eastern foothills and eastern facing mountains slopes as well as along the Palmer Divide in areas like Castle Rock, Elizabeth, and The Pinery.
This latest progress by the storm signals what will be a very interesting next 24 hours. Not much has changed with the latest data on this storm. We’re still expecting 6-12″ totals for the Metro Denver area and 8-16″ amounts for the areas west of Wadsworth/US-287 and along the Palmer Divide. The snow is increasing in coverage and intensity currently and will continue to increase through the evening. Moderate to heavy snow rates will continue from early afternoon through early morning tomorrow. 3-6″ should fall around the metro area through this evening and 4-8″ will fall in that same time span along the foothills and Palmer Divide. Tonight and tomorrow morning will net another 3-6″ for the Denver Metro area and 4-8″ for those higher elevation areas. Consistent snow should end around noon tomorrow and snow showers will take its place. While high accumulations are unlikely during tomorrow afternoon’s snow showers, it might add another 1-2″ to our already existing snow.
Blizzard-like conditions will be possible at times with high gusting winds and low visibilities. Avoid all non-emergency travel as roads will be difficult or impossible to pass at times.
A quote from the National Weather Service-
"THOUGH THE MORNING COMMUTE WILL NOT BE TREACHEROUS...ROAD CONDITIONS WILL RAPIDLY DETERIORATE THIS AFTERNOON AS SNOW ACCUMULATES ON ROAD WAYS. EXPECT HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS AND POSSIBLY VERY LONG DELAYS FOR THE EVENING COMMUTE."
"DON`T BE FOOLED BY THE LACK OF SNOW THIS MORNING. SNOW WILL INCREASE MID MORNING AND BY LATE MORNING SNOW WILL BE WIDESPREAD ACROSS THE AREA. SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. ROADS CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE LATE THIS MORNING AND AFTERNOON. IF COMMUTING THIS MORNING...EXPECT MUCH WORSE CONDITIONS FOR YOUR RETURN TRIP HOME."
Travel conditions will deteriorate as the day progresses. Roads will have increased congestion and will become more icy and snow-packed as the snow falls during the day. DIA has already cancelled many flights and more will likely be cancelled (including most flights from this afternoon through tomorrow morning). As for delayed or cancelled work tomorrow, a lot of that depends on how well snow removal services are performed. CDOT says that they’re ready for this storm and, if that is the case, there probably won’t be a ton of closures. If, however, snow does accumulate on road surfaces in significant amounts and it does not get cleared, cancellations and closures will become a real possibility.
Snow will become more intense and accumulations will start rapidly adding up. If you are able to leave work early or work from home to avoid the evening rush hour, you are encouraged to do so. Once home, avoid all non-emergency travel while the storm is occurring as this will only congest roads and make the clearing of roads and emergency services more difficult (plus, who doesn’t want to stay inside with some Irish hot chocolate and watch some Netflix or game with big flakes falling?!).
If you can stay home today and tomorrow, that is the best option. You may do well driving on snow, but someone else may not and could pose the potential for an accident. Besides, wouldn’t you rather enjoy the snow from your living room and then venture out when it’s sunny again on Wednesday?!
Regardless of your plans, good luck out there and be safe in your travels!
You can get updates on the storm system with live monitoring as well as daily forecasts with the “My Weather Concierge” app! Forecasts every day from a real person (myself) as well as a “Request Custom Forecast” feature that allows you to get a custom forecast for your event, trip, or personal occasion from an actual Atmospheric Scientist/Meteorologist!