We have had plenty of moisture flow into Colorado over the last two months and it has helped us increase our water tables and keep Colorado out of drought that tends to take hold when we have drier springs. While southeast Colorado is still a bit drier than normal, there isn’t a single location in Colorado designated as being in a drought which is great news to a state that tends to be ravaged by wildfires when droughts take hold. It looks like today and this weekend will help to keep our risk of drought low as we have plenty of cool temperatures and water headed into the state from today through Tuesday. While there is some disagreement on how much moisture we will see, there is agreement that it will be a significant amount and that it will continue for several days.
Current Conditions and Forecast
Snow and rain is beginning to develop around the metro area and is moving into the area from the south as the storm system entering the state begins to spill over the mountains. In the image below, you can see a satellite image of atmospheric water vapor from the GOES West satellite that shows a concentration of moisture from the Pacific Ocean just to the west of Colorado that has started to impact the western slope. Over the next several hours, we will see that concentration of moisture move over the mountains and into the Denver metro area which will increase rain coverage during the day and will lead to occasionally heavy rainfall this afternoon and evening.
Tonight a low pressure center will position itself over southeast Colorado that will aid in bringing moisture to the region through upslope wind flow and our moist beginning to the weekend will continue. Our rain will switch to snow tonight after midnight and should continue as snow through most of tomorrow due to high temperatures only being in the mid 30s. Currently, it looks like most regions will get 1-3″ of snowfall with higher amounts at higher elevations. However, due to our recent warm temperatures, most of the snow will melt off and very little accumulation will actually take place on the ground other than on grassy surfaces.
A fair amount of agreement exists between the models with the total amount of liquid water out of this storm system. One model is saying that we’re looking at roughly 1.5″ of total liquid water and the other is saying roughly 2″. So, there are still some unknowns with this system, but we’re certain that there will be a lot of precipitation. I should mention that the models are suggesting that this will be more of a snow event than I’m predicting, but due to the temperatures and the bulk of the moisture coming when we’re warm, I think they’re erroneous in their prediction.
As of right now, it looks like we’ll get the majority of our moisture today and tomorrow, but we’ll continue with cold and soggy conditions through Tuesday with rain falling during the day and snow (or a rain/snow mix) at night. Our temperatures will fall to a minimum tomorrow when highs will only be in the mid 30s. From there, we’ll slowly climb into the 40s on Saturday and Sunday and possibly the low 50s on Monday.
So, prepare for a cold and soggy weekend that will eventually lead to sunny skies, but not before the middle of next week. This type of extended moist and cloudy system is not something that we’re used to dealing with here, but if Seattle can handle it all year long, we can make the best of it for a few days!
Thank you for reading!
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