First Snowfall Forecast

The day of infinite glory is upon us! Our first snowfall of the 2016/2017 winter is falling in a few places along the front range. The mountains will be getting their fair share of the white fluffy stuff as well as they get some much neededermahgerd relief from the incredibly dry and record-breaking hot weather of the last month.

Assuming that the forecast isn’t completely wrong, we will have our first measurable snowfall of the season just four days before we would have broken the record for the latest first snowfall in Denver history. While this storm isn’t going to dump feet of snow or have you on the couch for days drinking hot cocoa and watching Netflix (it might, who am I to tell you what to do with your life), it is going to give us much needed moisture. For many of us though, this storm is not about the moisture in an increasingly dry year, it gives us  some peace of mind that winter has not forgotten us. It’s a simple reminder that we are, indeed, marching forward towards the holidays, skiing and riding the mountains, winter breaks from school, and that we’re not just stuck eternally in an endless late summer. How sweet it is!

Anyway, this is going to look like a fairly normal forecast and will be broken down into these categories-

  1. Current Conditions
  2. Storm System Timing
  3. Expected Accumulations
  4. Summary (If you don’t want the specifics, skip to this one!)

 

Current Conditions

Yesterday afternoon we experienced a cold front coming through the area that has kept our temperatures falling for about 12 hours now. Current temperatures are in the mid-30s around the front range and humidity has increased steadily. Yesterday’s cold front brought plenty of cloud cover as we can currently see blanketing the metro area in a wonderful sheet of grey this morning. Snow and rain have just barely started making their way onto the front range and can be seen on the radar image below. Right now we can see plenty of snowfall in the mountains and, although there is some green in areas like Longmont, Westminster, and to the west of Boulder, that is most likely radar noise and not actually rainfall.

20161117_100026

Radar Image: 10:00am MST Nov 11, 2016 — Blue signifies snow and green signifies rain, darker colors means heavier snow/rain.

Storm System Timing

The latest model runs show rain and snowfall beginning around town at approximately 11am MST. Initial thoughts were that we were going to get a period of rain followed by a longer period of snowfall that would last until roughly midnight. However, with the cooler temperatures around the metro area, it’s looking like the switch from rain to snowfall should happen sooner rather than later and there’s a good possibility that light snow will be falling in time for the evening rush hour commute. The snow still looks to finish off right around midnight and cloud cover should be clearing out shortly thereafter. I’m so happy to be able to say this… be prepared for very cold temperatures tonight. Most of the front range will be down into the teens and low twenties. Don’t be caught unprepared!

Expected Accumulations

Right now we’re right on par with what we’ve been expecting over the last few days, 1-2″ for the Denver area, 2-4″ for areas south and west along the foothills, and 3-6″ at most mountain locations along the I-70 corridor. There is a possibility for some higher amounts on the high mountain peaks like Echo Mountain, Breckenridge, and Vail, but it isn’t going to effect much down here. Keep in mind that despite the snowfall accumulation predictions, we might not actually see that much laying on the ground because the ground temperature is exceedingly warm from our record breaking temperatures. You will still probably see some accumulation on patio furniture and things of that nature (Don’t tell Kyle Clark), but it won’t be on everything.

You might notice that on the snowfall map there is a lot more snow out east, this is not a glitch. The northeastern plains of Colorado are expecting more snow than the Denver metro area. Make sure that you are prepared for poor driving conditions if you are headed out that way!

sner

Expected snowfall amounts from this storm

Summary

This storm has already brought us cooler temperatures and they will continue to stay low today and will be downright frightful tonight with lows in the teens and low 20s.  Snowfall beginning soon will bring 1-2″ for most areas and 3-4″ for a lucky few. Other than wet roads, there shouldn’t be much impact from this storm system today. However, tomorrow 3bbf5610b9b464b562e30cfddc491f39morning could yield a few icy conditions after roads have cooled a bit and remained wet overnight. My best advice for this storm is to enjoy it. We’re a week away from Thanksgiving and are FINALLY getting cold weather!

In my opinion, there has been a lot to make just about anyone anxious lately and the holidays are coming up which can make people even more anxious. That’s why I can’t stress this enough. Even if you don’t like winter, take a page out of Linus’ book and go catch snowflakes on your tongue! It keeps you hydrated and is a great way to remind yourself that life isn’t all about nonsensical bickering!

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the forecast.

-Andrew

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