Weekend Storm Update

Storm coming! We’re all going to die! OK, not really. It certainly seems like it with the amount of hype going around though. I’ve tried to wait as long as I can to post a follow-up to the forecast from earlier this week in order to make sure that the best information is making it out to everyone, but as we approach the weekend, people are growing a bit restless.

There has been a lot of hype and discussion of this storm system and people want to know what’s actually going to happen. Honestly, we don’t have a whole lot more information than we did when I first posted about it earlier this week, but I’ll do my best to give a brief update of what’s going on currently and what could happen.

Limited Storm Details and Predictions

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Winter Storm Watch Area Highlighted in Blue

The National Weather Service has already put out a Winter Storm Warning for the northeastern mountains for Friday afternoon through Saturday night. Snow accumulations for the mountains in the watch area are currently expected to see 12-18″ of snow with wind gusts up to 25 mph.

The same storm that will be impacting the mountains will be impacting the front range and eastern plains as well. The last several runs of the American long and medium range models have dropped the expected temperatures for the storm system which could mean that we will see snow. Now, this system will start on Friday afternoon and could continue through Monday. On Friday afternoon, we will most likely start with rain and switch to snow some time over night or on Saturday morning. The latest model runs have a lot of precipitation in store for us, but that is definitely NOT a certainty.

Predictions

We will definitely get a storm this weekend and it will have a wide range of impacts that will range from rain to snow and even severe thunderstorms with large hail out on the eastern plains. The models agree on the system position fairly well and have it stalling over the top of us which is why they’re predicting so much moisture for the front range. Whether that precipitation is rain or snow and what the amounts will be has yet to be determined. The primary reason for the overall lack of predictions is that this storm system is still out over the northern Pacific ocean and until we can get measurements of it over land with weather balloons and surface stations, we just don’t know enough to really nail anything down.

In conclusion:

  1. Yes, there will be a storm this weekend
  2. No, we don’t know whether it will be a huge snow dump or a rain event (though it’s leaning towards a snow storm)
  3. The models agree on the position and we will, at the very least, see some type of precip
  4. Temperatures are decreasing with each model run which could point to snow for at least part of the event, but that’s far from a certainty
  5. Tomorrow’s model runs will be much more useful because we’ll have better data on the system
  6. It is still too early to make any predictions regarding precipitation amounts

 

I know that this information is not going to satisfy the curiosity over what will happen this weekend, but this is what is currently happening with forecasting the storm. I will make another post tomorrow afternoon with better information and more predictions.

If you want more frequent updates and/or daily forecasts from me, you can download the “My Weather Concierge” app and subscribe to the Denver forecast.

Thank you for reading!

-Andrew

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