Thursday December 27, 2007 The second round of snowy weather in three days has settled into Colorado. A low pressure system is spinning across the Colorado-New Mexico border today and will swirl an upslope flow across the eastern plains through the day. By mid-morning, snow had already piled up about four inches deep in the Fort Collins and Greeley areas, with about 2 to 3 inches in Denver. The snow will continue to flutter down through the daylight hours, before tapering off this evening. Total snowfall will end up around 8 inches for most areas over the eastern plains.
This is a very dry, powdery snow - with a snow to water ratio of about 15:1. Not great for making a snowball, but much easier on your back if you have to shovel. The snow will be easily blown around, so open areas may have some drifting, but the winds will not be too strong with this storm.
Interesting that we will have a one-two punch of winter storms around the holidays for the second year in a row. But unlike 2006, the storms of this year are much weaker and wil bring considerably less hassle for the region. The current system will exit the state tonight, with clearing skies and very cold temperatures. Friday will be sunny and cold on the plains, while strong winds aloft spread some snow back into the mountains. Over the weekend, the plains will be dry and not as cold, while occasional snows will continue over the high country.
Take it slow and easy if you are traveling today. At least the kids are already off school, so that takes one worry off the minds of parents. Bundled them up and send them outside to play and sled!
Wednesday December 26, 2007 The Christmas Day snowstorm that dropped over 7 inches of snow on Denver, with over a foot in the foothills, will go down in the record books as the snowiest ever for the metro Denver. The previous mark for actual snow on Christmas Day was set back in 1894, with 6.2 inches falling during the 24 hour period on the 25th. Of course, last year in the wake of the huge blizzard on the 20th and 21st, we had 15 inches of snow on the ground for Christmas. In 1982, after the enormous storm on the 23rd and 24th, we had over 20 inches on the ground Christmas Day - but the weather on the 25th was sunny.
Today will be a dry, cold and quiet day, offering many a chance to shovel out or just enjoy the beauty of the fresh fallen snow. Another storm system will arrive tomorrow, offering a few more inches of snow to the area. Like the Christmas storm, it will be a cold system, providing light, fluffy snow that could pile up to 3-6 inches depending on the track and timing of the storm. Two years in a row of snowy memories for the holiday - it might just bend our memories into believing that it "always snows on Christmas in Denver". Not unlike the way our minds play tricks on us about the weather surrounding Halloween!
Friday December 21, 2007 The colder air is rapidly spilling southward across the eastern plains of Colorado as a cold front raced through the region around Midday. Much colder air and light snow will be the main features in our forecast for tonight and early Saturday. One to three inches of snow will be possible in the metro area, with heavier amounts to the south and west of town. The mountains have been getting snow and will end up with 5-10 inches of fresh powder by early Saturday. This storm will not last too long, as skies will clear out early in the day Saturday. We are on a rather fast track of weather systems for the next week or so. Another chance for light snow will arrive on Sunday afternoon and one more on Christmas Day.
None of these storms appear to be of the magnitude of the huge storm of one year ago, but the overall effect of the storms should be enough to keep some snow on the ground and make for a White Christmas!
Thursday December 20, 2007 A cold front will move into the state Friday and will bring cooler temperatures and wet weather to the state, compared to the mild, dry December day we saw on Thursday. This storm will bring 1-3 inches to the Metro area and the same up into the north eastern plains. As winds shift from north westerly to north easterly in the afternoon on Friday, upsloping conditions will develop. The perfect ingredient for snow for the plains and the Front Range.
The storm system will move through the state rather quickly. We will see clearing skies for Saturday before another cold front moves into the state on Sunday. It will bring another chance for snow to the mountains and a slight chance of snow for the Front Range. Christmas Eve will be clear with plenty of sunshine, a mild day, but we may see another chance of snow for Christmas day. We will keep you updated on the details of this approaching winter storm.
This week will mark the anniversary of the blizzard that hit the Colorado state this time in December. The mountains will see most of the snow out of this storm system. The northern mountains are under a Winter Storm Watch until Saturday at 5 a.m., where they could see up to a foot of snow. The San Juan Mountains are under a Snow Advisory until Friday at 6 p.m., with 4-8 inches of snow expected. Travel over the Palmer Divide and Monument Hill will become difficult with icy conditions and blowing snow.
Wednesday December 19, 2007 Downslope winds ahead of the next storm will give us one more day of mild temperatures before the system sweeps across the region on Friday giving us a chance of snow and much colder temps.
The models are finally starting to come together and are agreeing on a fast moving system with only about a six to twelve hour window leaving us with a few inches of snow at best. The mountains won't see an epic storm, but half a foot is possible as this storm races by. Areas across the eastern plains will also see light amounts ranging from 1-2 inches.
After the storm sweeps through, Colorado will see a brief break before another fast moving system moves through late on Christmas Eve and may provide a few flakes for Santa as he makes his rounds. A white Christmas looks to be in the cards with snow left on the ground from the weekend storms. But stay tuned, a change in the models could make for a much different story for the weekend and maybe even Christmas day!
Monday December 17, 2007 The weather has started out cold and quiet for this week, but it may not finish that way. Skies are mostly clear and temperatures have been chilly, especially north and east of Denver - with readings dipping down near zero in Greeley this morning. Overall, we will be seeing a slow warming trend this week, with highs climbing back into the 40s for highs through midweek.
The next major storm system that may affect Colorado will be swinging into the southern Rockies on Friday. The jet stream will increase and help carve out a deep trough over the southwestern U.S. by the weekend. There will be a low pressure system developing on Friday and this is the one we will need to watch. Right now, it looks like the low will probably form in the Panhandle of Texas on Friday and early Saturday. If the low develops that far south, Denver will miss out on getting heavy snow, as the main area of snow will fall across southern Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. The track of the storm will become more clear over the next two or three days, so we will keep you posted!
Friday December 14, 2007 The fast-moving storm whipped through leaving a couple of inches scattered on the area. Not much snow was expected with this system, and its exactly what we got! Now the storm will really muscle up and become a major weather headache for the Midwest and New England.
As the storm system exits the region, a night of bitter cold temperatures will remain with lows dropping into the single digits across the plains and even colder in the mountains with some locations seeing lows of 30 below zero! That's cold!! However, as the night gives way to day, temperatures begin to rebound statewide and front range locations will rise through the 30s and into the 40s through the early part of next week.
We have been watching a storm in the longer-range models which looks to impact the state next weekend. Recent runs of these models have shown this storm taking a favorable track across the four-corners and into the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to bring Front Range locations a decent shot of snow. This storm, like the others before it, will also be fast moving, so right now, we're not expecting a long-duration event, but the potential exists for this system to bring a quick shot of heavy snow and likely leave the region blanketed with enough to make it a white Christmas!
Right before this system is forecast to move in, we will once again be hosting the 24/7 Weather Line. You can call in with your forecasting questions on Thursday, December 20 from 4PM to 10:30PM.
December 13, 2007 - The skies have clouded up as a fast moving cold front begins to zip into the state tonight and bring more snow tonight and Friday. This next storm will be much, much smaller than the previous one, with only a 6-10 inches expected for the mountains. On the plains, we should see one to four inches of snow early tomorrow, with the snow tapering to flurries by noon Friday.
The weekend will be dry and cool, with temperatures starting out in the single digits early Saturday, but slowly moderating through Sunday as highs return to the 40s next week. The next storm will arrive around December 20th, with more snow possible as we ramp up toward Christmas. By the way, next week on the 20th, the 24/7 Weather Center will again offer our free TRAVEL WEATHER HOTLINE with meteorologists available to give you personalized forecasts for wherever your may be heading for the holidays.
Don't Forget! I will be at the Border Book store on Bowles in Littleton tonight at 7 PM for a book signing for my new book, THE COLORADO WEATHER ALMANAC - hope to see you there! For a list of my upcoming book signings, click here!!
December 11, 2007 - After a couple storms had blown through Colorado and produced heavy snow across the state things are beginning to die down. The latest storm is now moving its way out of Colorado and it looks like we are in store for slightly warmer weather over the next couple days.
The past two storms dropped many inches of snow across the Front Range and the Eastern Plains. These same storms managed to drop several feet of snow to the mountains. We saw snow totals of 2-5 feet of snow in the mountains and anywhere from 3 inches to 8 inches of snow since Friday. The heavy snow in the high country forced chain restrictions in mountain passes and slippery conditions in the Denver area.
Even though the storms seemed to have not been so bad for us here in Colorado it has turned out to be a disaster for the Midwest. The same stroms that swept through Colorado also caused hazardous conditions in Oklahoma, Illinois, and Missouri. Oklahoma is currently in a state of emergency after nearly an inch of ice covered the state. The ice storm is also blamed for 13 deaths caused by traffic accidents. The storm has left thousands of people without power and many travelers stranded. Good news is on the way for the Midwest as warmer weather is set to move in on Thursday.
Here some snow totals from the past 24 hours: Pagosa Springs-14", Salida-8", Silverton-8", Littleton-7", Buena Vista-6.5", Nederland-6", Evergreen-5.5", Loveland-5.5", Boulder-5", Fort Collins-4.5", Greeley-4", and in Denver at Channel 7-4".
December 10, 2007 -Here we SNOW again! The storm stubborn storm system that dumped several feet of snow on the mountains in the past week and a few inches on the plains, will swing one more round of flakes our way tonight and Tuesday. The upper air low pressure system that has been responsible for all the snow has been spinning over Arizona through the weekend and will zip across Colorado tonight. Winter storm warnings are again in place for the central and southern mountains, with another 1-2 feet of snow expected there. In Denver and along the I-25 Corridor, 2-4 inches of snow can be expected tonight and Tuesday, with heaviest amounts on the west and southwest sides of the metro area.
After this last round of snow moves through, the upper air pattern will shift a bit and blow in from the west to northwest, keeping some snow showers in the mountain through the week, but knocking back the chance for snow on the plains. It will stay chilly for the next few days, but not as cold as early Monday morning in Greeley! The cold air pooled in the South Platte Valley early today, with temperatures down as cold as 11 below zero in Greeley! Just to the west and south, the slightly higher elevations made a huge difference. At the same time it was 11 below in Greeley, Fort Collins reported 7 above and DIA was at 24 degrees. In Boulder, it was 30 - a forty one degree difference within about 50 miles!
Speaking of big numbers, Wolf Creek Pass has had 49 inches of snow in the past 5 days. They are under a Winter Storm Warning again for the next part of this storm and may receive another 24-30 inches of snow today and tonight!
December 7, 2007 - Amazing amounts of powder have been piling up in the mountains and much more is on the way! A strong flow of westerly winds aloft is continuing to push moisture into the state. The mountains have been effectively intercepting that moisture and the result has been one to two feet of snow snow in the past 48 hours, with another one to two feet still to come through Sunday! The heaviest snows so far have been along and north of I-70, but the winds aloft are slowly shifting and will blow more snow into the central and southwestern mountains now through the weekend. By the end of this prolonged storm, many ski areas in the state will have 3 to 5 feet of snow!
On the plains, much less snow will fall, although a few inches have dropped on Larimer and Weld counties early today. Denver has missed most of the snowfall, but one to three inches of snow will be possible in the metro area Friday night and Saturday. The wind pattern has not turned properly to bring a northeast surface wind to the Denver area - that is the prime direction for snow in the metro area. We will get colder temperatures this weekend, so any snow that does fall, should stick for a while!
By the way, I have a number of book signings scheduled over the next week for my new book - THE COLORADO WEATHER ALMANAC.To see the list and preview the book, click on the story under weather news.
December 4, 2007 - After setting a record high on Tuesday, cooler and possibly wetter weather will move in for the weekend. On Tuesday, warm Chinook winds pushed high temperatures into the 70s across the metro area and set a new record just after 1:00pm with a high of 72. That beat the old daily record of 69 set back in 1980. It was still well short of the highest ever December temperature of 79 degrees set way back in 1939.
The warm weather won't last long, though. A slight cooldown on Wednesday will give way to a string of cooler days as highs fall into the 40s on Thursday and hold around the 40 degree mark through the weekend into next week. A series of weak disturbances will move through the state and that will keep a slight chance of a rain/snow mix just about every day through the weekend. Precipitation amounts won't amount to much with any of these systems, but the chance is there.
The mountains will see snow over the weekend, but not the dumper they had last week where as much as four feet fell in southwest mountains. Several new inches of powder can be expected for the ski areas through the rest of the week into the weekend.
November 30, 2007 A moisture laden storm system is spinning out of the southwestern United States and making a wet and white march toward the northeast. This storm is bringing very heavy snows to the San Juan and La Garita Mountains of Colorado with moderate to heavy snows in the mountains farther to the north. Farther to the east, residents in the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska are experiencing for a major ice storm, with tree damage and power outages. In between, Denver and the I-25 Corridor will escape this storm with just some light rain and snow, but not a big storm.
The reason that the metro areas of north central Colorado will miss the brunt of this front is due to the track of the center of the storm. The low pressure core of the storm system is expected to track from southwestern Colorado through Limon and northeast to near North Platte, NE. This track will bring Denver and the surrounding area winds from the southeast - not a favorable direction for heavy snow. A southeast wind actually downslopes a bit from the Palmer Divide and that tends to dry the lowest layers of the atmosphere just enough to limit snowfall. A slight change in the track of the low, however could change things.
If the storm had tracked 75 to 100 miles farther to the south, that would have brought the colder air and the heavier snowfall into the Denver Metro area. Across the plains of Nebraska and the Dakotas, that is enough cold air and humidity to create a freezing rain and snow mix that has really slicked things up. If you have travel plans heading west or east from Denver and the I-25 Corridor, be ready to deal with slick roads and slow going.
Our exclusive FutureCast graphics dramatically show the precipitation pattern across Colorado and can give you a very good idea about the wind direction and how it relates to where the snowfall will occur - check it out on our navigation bar. Also, My 24/7 Weather will pinpoint the areas that will get heavy snow, freezing rain or just a few flurries.
The storm will move out of the state by Sunday, with clearing skies and milder temperatures for early next week.
November 28, 2007 - Cold front brings a burst of snow. The snow was supposed to fall only in the mountains and foothills overnight and early today as a cold front raced through the area. Quite a surprise to get a quick 1 to 3 inches on the plains from this system. A rogue snow squall developed early this morning along the I-25 corridor and dumped a quick 1-3 inches of snow over parts of I-25 and US 85, just in time for the morning rush hour to turn into a slush hour. Some of the wet snow was pounded into black ice, causing numerous accidents early today.
The cause of the snow squall was actually about 25,000 feet above us. A very powerful jet stream blasted over eastern Colorado this morning, with speeds aloft of 180 mph. The force of that flow created enough turbulence in the atmosphere to create some rising motion in the air and form the showers of heavy snow. It was not expected because the surface wind direction was from the northwest and that is not a good snow direction for the plains east of the mountains. Typically, we need an easterly component to the winds to bring upslope - pushing the air toward the mountains to create snow on the plains. In this case the jet stream was so strong it compensated for the lack of upslope and the result was enough lifting motion in the atmosphere to bring a brief, but intense burst of snow. If you want to sound technical for your friends, here is the scientific explanation - "the upper level dynamics were so strong, they overwhelmed the low level downslope component and created enough rising motion to allow the snow to develop. That is what can happen when the right rear quadrant of the jet stream is overhead" Whew - now there is a meteorological mouthful!
Of course, it is nice to make that call about 6 to 12 hours ahead of the snow, but this time I made the wrong call - thinking that the downsloping component would win. In short, the weather zigged, when I thought it would zag! I hope that you managed your way safely through any of the scattered heavy snow early today. The upper level winds will remain strong for the next few days, so we may get another shot of snow by Saturday.
By the way, I am proud to say that my new book, THE COLORADO WEATHER ALMANAC is now in the bookstores! I spent the last 18 months working on this project and had the help of many great local weather experts. If you are interested in learning a lot more about how Colorado works and about our wild weather history, you might want to check it out! I have a number of book signings scheduled in December, the information is available in the story about the book found under Weather News .
November 27, 2007 - Jet stream winds accelerating overhead. A very powerful blast of wind aloft will rocket across Colorado later today and tonight. The jet sream flow at about 30,000 feet will crank up to about 180 mph tonight and scream over the mountains. This strong core of jet stream winds will obviously bring some high winds to the high country, but unfortunately only a little snow. The winds will actually be too strong to allow a major storm to develop as the energy aloft will zip over the region too quickly and not give moisture a chance to hang around long enough to drop a lot of snow. The mountains along and north of I-70 should manage to get 3-6 inches of snow tonight and Wednesday, mainly on the west facing slopes. Lower elevations east of the mountains will miss the snow as the winds will come from the northwest, downsloping off the mountains and drying out. The Denver area and adjacent cities will warm up some today and then turn colder tonight and tomorrow with the passage of a cold front.
The fast paced flow aloft will zing another cold front our way by late this week. Thursday and Friday will be dry, but by the weekend, the mountains will get more snow. On the eastern plains, we will see a chance for some snow Saturday afternoon into early Sunday. At this time, it does not appear that the weekend storm will be a big one either.
The fast paced weather pattern may be a harbinger of the winter season as a whole. Check out the excellent story on the upcoming winter forecast in our "weather news" section. My colleague Richard Ortner has an very good interview with Klaus Wolter, an expert on El Nino-La Nina. The overall trend in the high country is windy and dry.
At last! The Colorado Weather Almanac is now in bookstores. Check with your local store as the books are in the warehouse and being distributed now. I will have a number of book signings coming up in the next few weeks, so if you would like an autographed copy, check the story at the bottom of "weather news" for a signing at a bookstore near you!
November 26, 2007 - Some snow on the way this week! Most of November has been dry and mild across Colorado. Ski areas are keeping their fingers crossed and the snowmaking guns going in hope of covering the slopes. At lower elevations, we have had just a few bursts of snow, but only 2 inches of snow so far. At the same time, temperatures have averaged about 5.5 degrees warmer than normal for the Denver area. Some changes are in the works for us this week as there will be a series of cold fronts sliding across the region over the next few days. The first front is moving through the state now, and is quite weak. Some light snow is possible through the morning over the northern mountains, followed by clearing skies. Temperatures will be slightly cooler today statewide, but will warm up again on Tuesday. The next system will arrive in the form of a cold front on Wednesday. The weather will be windy and colder, with light snow possible. The strongest system will get here on Saturday and will bring the best chance for snow to the state, along with a reinforcing shot of cold weather.
None of these storms are particularly potent, but at least we will be getting a little more moisture over the central Rockies. The snowpack is lacking in the high country, not just for skiing, but also in terms of water supply for next year. The current tally of snowpack shows the state average to be less than a third of normal. It is still early and there is ample time to catch up, but the long range forecasts for the winter are indicating that Colorado will likely have a drier than normal winter. This is due in part to the La Nina event currently in place over the central Pacific. La Nina is the cooler opposite of El Nino and tends to keep much of Colorado drier than average during the winter months. Because we are so far away from the Pacific Coast, the effects of both La Nina and El Nino are harder to pinpoint than they are for California, Oregon or Washington. In general though, La Nina winters do tend to be windy and dry across most of Colorado.
In light of the long range outlook for the winter, we will savor the snow whenever we can get it. This week will feature a few chances for flakes and with some chilly temperatures later this week, we should have some snow on the ground.
November 23, 2007 - Another days of flakes and shakes! A small storm system rolling across the Colorado - New Mexico border has brought another round of snow to the metro area. Light snow began falling early this morning and will linger through much of the day. Accumulations will be light - an inch or two, but the continued very cold temperatures will allow that snow to stick around and make the streets and sidewalks slick. Southern Colorado will get a much heavier snowfall, with over a foot of snow expected around Wolf Creek Pass.
The system will exit the region tomorrow, with sunshine returning, although it will stay on the chilly side. By Sunday, temperatures will warm significantly, back into the 50s along the I-25 Corridor. Monday will still be relatively mild, but do not expect any of the 60 and 70 degree weather of early this past week. Another weak storm may bring light snow Tuesday night and Wednesday. By next weekend, we may see another rather significant storm swirl our way. That is still a long ways off, though, so stand by for updates.
November 21, 2007 - Snow Snarls Traffic, But Makes for a Festive Scene! The snow started to fall heavily after midnight and dumped anywhere from an inch or two over the southeastern Denver area, to nearly ten inches around Estes Park. The cold front that sponsored this flaky event is now racing to the east and will produce weather worries for travelers across the Midwest and the Northeast over the next 48 hours. We had a few weather related headaches as well this morning as slick roads caused numerous accidents, especially to the north of Denver.
Flurries and cold weather will linger through the day, with clearing skies and cold weather tonight. Thanksgiving will be mostly sunny, but chilly, so the snow will stick around. A weak storm system on Friday will bring some clouds and a few flurries, but should not cause any major travel issues.
The weekend will slowly warm up, but do not expect any 60s or 70s again - more likely to be in the 40s and maybe a low 50 degree day. Later next week, we might see another storm system, I will keep an eye on that and let you know.
Be sure to use our wonderful forecasting tool - MY 24/7 Weather to help guide you on your way during the holidays. This service is at the top of our weather navigation bar and can proivde you with up to date custom forecasts for locations all over Colorado and across the nation. Even into the Caribbean and Mexico - if you want to escape all this cold and snow!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in the 24/7 Weather Center!
November 20, 2007 - Here Comes the Snow! The much advertised cold front moved through the state early Tuesday morning. The snow will follow the front tonight and Wednesday. The storm system will not be a huge snowmaker, but it should bring about 4 inches of snow to Denver overnight and about double that in the foothills and close to a foot along the Continental Divide! Much colder air is pouring into Colorado from the north, so temperatures will be 40 to 50 degrees colder than they were on Monday. The snow will increase after Midnight and be moderate overnight through the rush (or slush) hour on Wednesday. There will be some slow going on the roads Wednesday and some flight delays will be possible at DIA.
Our travel weather hotline was a big success Monday night, with over 500 calls for forecasts. You can still get a travel forecast for the holiday by dropping us an e-mail - check under our WEATHER NEWS column for the link.
Be sure to use MY 24/7 WEATHER at the top of our navigation bar to fine tune your neighborhood forecast for cold and snow.
Tuesday night we threw the switch to light the 7News Building for the holidays. This year we have put holiday lights all over the building as well as draped them in our trees and bushes on the property, located at the corner of Lincoln and Speer. This year, with the help of Christmas Decor' by Swingle, we have done all of the lights in the new LED bulbs. These lights are so energy efficient that we will use 80% less electricity to light things up for the holidays! It should be festive, with fresh snow and a chill in the air, so take a look when you are downtown!
November 19, 2007 - Chilly Change on the Way! After several days of very mild and quiet weather, nature is about to serve up a cold dish this Thanksgiving week. A strong cold front will slide into the state on Tuesday, bringing an end to the unseasonably warm weather that has made it feel more like September than November. The last of the red-hot forecasts will be today, with highs reaching to near record levels in the mid to upper 70s. By tomorrow, the temperatures will be 20-25 degrees colder and by Wednesday morning, we should have snow on the ground with highs staying near freezing.
Right now this front looks as though it will zip through here pretty fast, keeping snow accumulations down, but the snow parched mountains should pick up 5 to 10 inches of badly needed snow. Travel will still be impacted this week by the big change - not only in Colorado, but across much of the central and eastern United States. In that light, be sure to use our FREE Holiday Weather Travel Line this afternoon and tonight. The phone service will be staffed by meteorology majors from UNC in Greeley and Metro State. We will provide customized travel forecasts for you from 4 PM to 10:30 PM from our weather call center at 7News. The number is 303-832-2557 and will be up and running later today.
November 16 2007 - Oh those lovely lenticulars! The colorful clouds that have been drifting over the Front Range during the past 2 days are the result of strong winds aloft swirling over the mountains. The force of the wind creates a turbulence in the air that is known as a standing wave. If you think about the waters rushing past rocks and boulders in our mountain streams, you can visualize the way waves form and often stay just down stream from a big boulder. This standing wave in the stream can be the one that white water enthusiasts are careful around as they can flip you over! In the atmosphere, moisture gets caught in this eddies aloft and forms the wild and weird looking cloud formations we have seen recently.
The official name for these clouds is a real meteorological mouthful "Altocumulus Standing Lenticularus" often called ACSL by experts. The clouds are especially beautiful at dawn and dusk, when the low sun casts a haunting gold and orange color on them. ACSL clouds are a sign of strong winds aloft that can mean changes for our weather. Indeed, while it is mild and quiet now, we do have a major change coming in the weather by early next week. A strong cold front will slide into the state by Tuesday, followed by increasing moisture and a chance for snow Tuesday night and Wednesday.
With the Thanksgiving holiday travel time coming, the 24/7 Weather Center will host our annual holiday travel line service on Monday from 4 PM until 10:30 PM. Meteorologists will take your calls and answer your weather questions about conditions anywhere you may be heading!