Models have been predicting snow all week but the biggest question we were waiting for confirmation on was; how much cold air actually makes it in and where does that put the snow line down to? Based on model updates late last night and into this morning, we are predicting colder air to filter in than originally anticipated with this storm meaning the snow line will move downward in elevation.
With that information, the NWS has upgraded Winter Storm Watches along the foothills to Warnings and issued new watches that include the rest of the Palmer Divide. Warning details, forecast updates and model guidance are all updated below.
Current Winter Weather Watches/Warnings/Advisories
**Winter Storm Watch In Effect**
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DENVER HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING.
CASTLE ROCK...ELBERT...FONDIS...KIOWA... LARKSPUR
6 TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED BY LATE FRIDAY EVENING.
ACCUMULATING SNOW ON BRANCHES AND POWER LINES COULD LEAD TO TREE DAMAGE AND POWER OUTAGES. ROADS WILL GET SLUSHY OR SNOW PACKED TONIGHT AND FRIDAY NIGHT. HOWEVER...DUE TO THE HIGH SUN ANGLE DURING THE DAY ON FRIDAY HIGHWAYS MAY NOT EXPERIENCE AS MUCH SNOW ACCUMULATION DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
**Winter Storm Warning In Effect**
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DENVER HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT MDT FRIDAY NIGHT. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
CAMERON PASS... LARAMIE AND MEDICINE BOW MOUNTAINS...RABBIT EARS RANGE... ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK...WILLOW CREEK PASS... BERTHOUD PASS...BRECKENRIDGE...EAST SLOPES MOSQUITO RANGE... EAST SLOPES SOUTHERN GORE RANGE...EISENHOWER TUNNEL... INDIAN PEAKS...KENOSHA MOUNTAINS...MOUNT EVANS... WILLIAMS FORK MOUNTAINS...WINTER PARK...ESTES PARK...GLENDEVEY... NEDERLAND...RED FEATHER LAKES...BAILEY...CENTRAL CITY... EVERGREEN...GEORGETOWN...IDAHO SPRINGS...WESTCREEK...FAIRPLAY... HARTSEL...LAKE GEORGE...SOUTH PARK
GENERALLY 10 TO 20 INCHES. FAVORED UPSLOPE AREAS EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE WILL SEE THE MOST SNOW... WITH TOTALS PERHAPS APPROACHING TWO FEET.
ACCUMULATING SNOW ON BRANCHES AND POWER LINES COULD LEAD TO TREE DAMAGE AND POWER OUTAGES. ROADS WILL AT LEAST GET SLUSHY THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY NIGHT BUT DUE TO THE HIGH SUN ANGLE DURING THE DAY ON FRIDAY THEY MAY NOT EXPERIENCE A LOT OF ACCUMULATION DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW... SLEET AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. TRAVEL IS LIKELY TO BE SEVERELY IMPACTED.
Expect a cool and cloudy Thursday with highs only reaching the mid 40’s in Castle Rock and most places along the Palmer Divide. Rain tonight will transition into snow through early Friday morning. Friday looks to be the biggest impact day, snow will continue and accumulate all day into Friday night and possibly early Saturday morning.
Area Snowfall Amounts
Castle Rock: 8-12 inches
Palmer Divide South (Larkspur, Monument…) : 10-20 inches
Western Douglas County Foothills: Spots of 10-20 inches
Denver: 3-6 inches
Rain showers will begin Thursday and last on and off through the day.
Rain will transition into snow later on Thursday
By Thursday night into Friday snow will fall and begin to accumulate
Best chances of snow is late Thursday, all day Friday and into Saturday morning. Lighter snow will linger on Saturday – Sunday
Heavy snow will stress budding or trees with leaves on them. Keep an eye on those branches and be prepared to shake them off frequently to prevent damage
Heavy snow may accumulate on power lines causing power outages in areas
Road conditions may get slushy and snow-packed in some areas. Due to the warmer daytime temperatures and higher angle of sunlight, travel may become tricky in some areas but not all areas will see bad road conditions.
Latest Model Guidance
**Please note, the snowfall forecast ranges are looking at data for the Castle Rock area.
This spring storm is loaded with moisture and just like the last, temperatures will play a huge part on how much snowfall accumulates. The biggest impact to travel looks to be Friday and possibly Saturday morning, so keep that in mind if you are commuting in on Friday or out and about on Saturday.
This storm will not trap you in your house for days, so I honestly don’t think a grocery store run is necessary as long as you have food for Friday and Saturday. Most likely, roads will be slushy but passable and clearing on Saturday by late morning.
I will be keeping a close eye on that watch area and will relay any information in forecast change or warning upgrades throughout the day today. Stay tuned!