What I Am Thankful For in 2018


John Braddock, owner of Mountain Wave Weather

There’s definitely a lot for me to be thankful this year; great friends, great family and I’m especially thankful that my wife puts up with me looking at, talking about, thinking about weather every waking moment of the day.

I created Mountain Wave Weather mainly as an outlet for this obsession with weather I have. It’s been an absolutely amazing time as I’ve learned to write better, acquired and learned how to use some amazing weather software and been able to attend weather conferences to continue my education in meteorology beyond school.

It astounds me how much Mountain Wave weather has grown, mainly by word of mouth (I don’t advertise) and how awesome people have been! There are a couple of big milestones we hit this year and I want to recognize the people who helped make it happen!

 

Courage Classic/ Fundraising for Children’s Hospital

Many people that know me understand that Children’s Hospital of Colorado is near and dear to my heart. Every year I participate in the Courage Classic Bicycle Tour to help raise money for this excellent cause. I’ve always leaned heavily on social media to promote this but in the past couple of years I’ve used Mountain Wave Weather to help get this message out a bit further.

I was able to raise $700 this year, thanks mainly in large part to a few folks that follow me on Mountain Wave Weather. This was a part of over $100k that was raised in our team that went to the Children’s Hospital Inherited Metabolic Disease team, a group of people I have very close ties with and without whom I don’t know where I’d be today.

I want to specially recognize these people who donated:

  • Gerald Morrison

  • Lee Rottler

  • Courtney Appel-Sadler and Family

Thank you guys so much for helping me with this cause!

To everyone else that follows along, I will be doing this event again next year so stay tuned for details on that!


Business Support

As many of you know, I don’t generally like to use Mountain Wave Weather as a platform to advertise. I’ll make an exception here and there when warranted and I believe this is one of those cases;

Mark and K.C. Neel and their staff at Castle Rock Bike and Ski were amazing this year in keeping my bike running. I put nearly 1,100 miles in and let’s face it… I’m rough on my bike. These guys helped me out a ton this year and I really appreciate everything they do to keep me running!

If you haven’t had a chance to visit their place in downtown Castle Rock, I highly recommend it. Not only are they an awesome, locally owned small business with great people, but they can keep you bike and or skis in great shape all year long!

Shameless plug here for something I started this year. MountainWave Digital Solutions is a small side project I started that turned into a business where I get to help people with another one of my passions. I was able to do countless projects that involved helping people with websites, search engine optimization, business intelligence and application development. The reason I mention it as a word of thanks is that a good chunk of the money I earned on these projects went into my bike races and fundraising, but some of the profits also went into the cool weather tools and analysis you see on this site and my social media pages.

Not really a thank you to myself, but more of a thank you to my clients who took a chance on me when I started out. Thank you all for allowing me to work with you and thank you for being a big part of making this year happen!

Altitude SEO, Sean Hakes, Denver SEO

Finally one more quick shutout to Sean Hakes with Alititude SEO (believe they’re now called Altitude Agency… Sean send me a new logo! :-P) Not only has he been great to talk shop to in Castle Rock, but many folks have found me on one of his Facebook Groups or pages, this includes CRCO Castle Rock. A super special thanks to him for helping me build this little community over the past year!

Sean is one of those guys who selflessly does a lot for the community of Castle Rock… a lot of behind the scenes things that he doesn’t even get credit for. If you see him on social media or about in town, say hi!


Thank You!

It’s been an amazing year and I look forward to what’s coming next! I’m truly very lucky to have the friends and family around me that I do.

To everyone who follows along on Mountain Wave Weather, thank you for sticking with me and putting up with my weather nerd-ery! I have some cool things I’d like to do in 2019 to continue Mountain Wave Weather and will have some updates on that in the very near future!

Have a happy, safe and prosperous 2019!

~John Braddock

 

 

Quick Update: New Year’s Eve Storm

Here’s the latest advisories and warnings for Colorado in regards to this storm. The fact that most of the Palmer Divide and foothills areas are in a Winter Weather Advisory should tell you something. This storm will have some snow with it but still doesn’t look to be a major storm by any means. The Advisory is mainly for travel difficulties for areas under moderate snow and dangerously cold wind chill temperatures.

No surprises with any of this, we have been telling folks to expect snow tomorrow but not a major storm by any means. The lighter blue advisories into Wyoming and Nebraska are wind chill advisories, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of those issued in Colorado tomorrow and into Tuesday.


The Forecast:  Some Slight Tweaks!

Timing

Models have slowed the storm system down a bit, originally we were expecting snow after midnight into the early morning hours. Here’s the new timing:

  • Snow now expected to begin between 3AM-6AM Monday morning
  • Snow will continue throughout the day Monday
  • Do expect snow during the Monday morning commute, it is possible lingering snow showers could impact the evening commute too (for those working tomorrow…)

Keep in mind, all the ranges we show for snow below are through Tuesday morning… that means you won’t wake up to 3-6 inches of snow in Castle Rock tomorrow, this will accumulate through the day and into late Monday night!

Snowfall

WPC expected snow totals over next 48 hours… still think these are a bit overdone. See our forecast numbers and notes below.

As expected, models are continuously dropping snow totals with each run this evening. This wasn’t totally unexpected though, as it’s been the main theme of our storm systems this year. That being said, we still can’t ignore the strong northerly winds that tend to favor upslope over the Palmer Divide. Models don’t always pick that up very well and given the favored upslope and bitter cold temperatures, we still may be able to eak out some accumulating snow.

With that, we are leaving forecast snow totals as they are, but please understand the lower ends of these totals are looking more likely now than the higher ends.

  • Castle Rock, Parker, Lone Tree areas
    • 3-6 inches
  • Elbert, Elizabeth, Kiowa
    • 2-5 inches
  • Larkspur, Monument
    • 3-7 inches
  • Woodland Park, Palmer Lake, W. Colorado Springs Foothills
    • 4-8 inches

Impacts

No major changes in the impacts, some roads will become slick under heavier bands of snow, but again this will not be a major impacting storm to travel for the Palmer Divide.

The biggest impact of this storm will not be the snow, it will be the bitter cold temperatures.

Nam3K expected temperatures 8AM Tuesday

Those are low temperatures below zero for a number of areas across the Palmer Divide. Given the winds are supposed to breezy out of the North, many areas could see wind chills in the range of -15 to -25 degrees. These are dangerous temperatures so be prepared if you are out Monday night or Tuesday morning. Don’t forget the pets too!

We will have one more quick update in the morning if anything changes in the forecast overnight, if you don’t see an update… expect that there aren’t any changes and things are more or less on track. Stay warm and stay safe!

If you’d like to read today’s earlier look at the models, forecast and synopsis you can see that article by clicking here.

New Year’s Eve Storm: One More Time with Feeling!

Another storm system will begin making its way into Colorado overnight on Sunday and into Monday and with it comes another chance of snow. Will this storm produce more than our last “blizzard” or will we run into another dud?  Let’s go over the need to know stuff first, then we’ll follow on with the models and forecast.


New Year’s Eve Storm

Timing

We don’t see an impact on Sunday night, so the good news is if you are travelling on Sunday during the day, things should be just fine out on the roads for Eastern and Southern Colorado.

Nam3k expected precip 1AM 12-31-2018

By 1am most models begin picking up on precipitation moving into the front range region. Some have it starting as rain but I imagine it will be cold enough that we see this initial round as snow.

Nam3k expected precip 6AM 12-31-2018

By 6am we start to see more energy and upslope across the region.

Nam3k expected precip 9AM 12-31-2018

By 9am, snow is cranking along the front range, Palmer Divide and especially the South Central mountains.

Nam3k expected precip 9PM 12-31-2018

By 9pm we still see light snow showers in the area, but the main energy is moving South out of the area.

So all in all, expect this storm to start after midnight tonight and continue through a good chunk of the day on Monday. Snow could be heavy at times, especially South of Denver and into Southern Colorado.

Expected Snowfall Accumulation – Palmer Divide Region (Our forecast “most-likely” ranges)

  • Castle Rock, Parker, Lone Tree areas
    • 3-6 inches
  • Elbert, Elizabeth, Kiowa
    • 2-5 inches
  • Larkspur, Monument
    • 3-7 inches
  • Woodland Park, Palmer Lake, W. Colorado Springs Foothills
    • 4-8 inches

 

WPC predicted snowfall for the next 48 hours (Palmer Divide Region)

*Keep in mind, our snowfall forecast differs a bit from the WPC as their forecast can be a bit overdone for Colorado and the Palmer Divide area

Model guidance, meteorology and probabilistic forecasting all go into our forecasts at Mountain Wave Weather

Impacts

No winter weather advisories, watches or warnings have been issued as of the time of this post. I suspect if some are issued, they will focus on the Palmer Divide and Foothills regions of the front range.

Roads will become icy and snowpacked under heavier bands of snow. Expect travel conditions to deteriorate early Monday morning with difficult travel conditions possible the first half of Monday.

Extreme Cold!

Nam3k forecast temperatures 6AM Tuesday 1-1-2019

This storm system will bring a healthy dose of arctic air into the region on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures Tuesday morning are expected to be in the single digits to below zero late Monday and into Tuesday. Make sure your pets have a warm place and keep an eye out for frozen pipes.


Models/Synopsis

Let’s do a quick run through of the models, then we’ll discuss…

GFS is most excited about snow on this storm… but remember it always is!

Nam3k is less excited about snowfall amounts. Nam3k tends to be a bit more reliable than the GFS

Euro (operational) seems relatively in line with the NAM

Euro (ensembles) not as excited about snowfall

As you can see, there is still a bit of discrepancy between the models. This is pretty common, especially because the GFS has been whacky with overdoing snowfall all year. It’s a model that we tend to look at but not take too seriously. The NAM can be accurate to an extent, but the clear winner this year has been the Euro model. The ensembles were especially good at picking up on our last storm and predicting a “no show” event for snow along the front range.

The WPC image we posted above helps with our forecast too, but keep in mind this tends to overdo snow just a bit (not nearly as bad as the GFS though…)

WPC predicted snowfall for the next 48 hours (Palmer Divide Region)

Additionally we can look at the SREF ensembles to get an idea on snowfall, but they too suffer a bit from overdoing snowfall. Still, they are worth looking at as part of the “big picture” that helps with our forecast.

SREF ensembles showing about a 5 inch mean for APA (centennial airport)

Overall, given the data above and the current predicted storm track our confidence is growing that we see accumulating snow out of this event. The probabilities are just much higher than our last storm when you look at data across the board.

Since we still have an entire day of data to come in, expect there to be tweaks and minor changes to the timing, snowfall numbers and impacts based on things we see later today. As with any forecast, things will be fluid but we think we are in the ballpark at least for right now.

Enjoy the warm day Sunday and be ready for the change late Sunday night and into Monday morning!

 

Post Christmas Storm Update – 12-26-2018

As you know if you’ve been following along, we haven’t been getting too excited about this storm… while others have. There’s a good reason why, when we are in a continued dry pattern with the jet stream and storm track being the way they are, it is very difficult to break out of that pattern. This storm looks like it will be just another example of that.

Here’s the latest…

Warnings and Advisories

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Eastern Colorado, Western Kansas and up through Nebraska and the Dakotas. Expect strong winds, heavy snow and icing conditions on the road making for treacherous travel. If you are planning on driving through these areas, stay very aware of the weather and road conditions. A lot of roads should be ok earlier in the day today with deteriorating conditions as we move into the afternoon, evening and overnight hours.

Closer to home, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the Southwestern Mountains, areas South of Pueblo and the far Eastern sections of the Palmer Divide. Snow totals in these areas is expected to be less, but the combination of wind and falling snow could make travel difficult for a period of time.


Model Updates and Data

No surprises here, models continue to shift the heaviest moisture away from the front range and further out onto the plains. Here’s the models as of this morning…

Euro model expected snowfall through 5PM Thursday

GFS model expected snowfall through 5PM Thursday

Nam3K model expected snowfall through 5PM Thursday

Notice the trend? All 3 models are in agreement with moving the heaviest bands of snow further East and less snow along the front range. Interestingly, all 3 still hold on to a bit of snow mainly over the Palmer Divide so that’s at least something to hold on to!


Latest Snowfall Forecast

WPC snowfall forecast

This snowfall forecast is a bit tricky, because if models continue to move the main energy East… a lot of these ranges will bust short. If the trend continues, I would not be surprised to see many areas along the I-25 corridor see little to no snow accumulation at all. Either way, here’s the ranges we are going with at this time…

Castle Rock: 1-3 inches

Larkspur: 1-3 inches

Monument: 0-2 inches

Littleton: 0-2 inches

Highlands Ranch: 0-2 inches

Parker: 1-3 inches

Elizabeth: 1-4 inches

Franktown: 1-3 inches

Elbert: 1-4 inches

Limon: 2-5 inches


Summary

All in all, we are not expecting a major impact from this storm along the Palmer Divide. Yes we should see at least a bit of snow and yes some roads may get a bit slick under those snow bands, but it doesn’t look like this storm will produce a major problem for most folks.

I’m going to borrow a line from my friends at Weather 5280 that sums up this fall and winter pretty well so far… “Not how many of us hoped this week would pan out… but hey, we’ll keep faithfully writing about blowing dirt until it finally snows again. We’re getting pretty good at it!”

Blowing dirt and tumbleweeds courtesy of Weather5280!

 

Quick AM Storm Update

Updated Warnings, Watches and Advisories for Colorado

The NWS has issued warnings, watches and advisories for winter weather in Colorado due to the storm system moving in. At this time, we see no indication that this storm will have a major impact on the I-25 corridor or the front range foothills. We do expect most areas to see at least some snow though, just not enough for any weather highlights right now.

Again, since we are still getting new data in about the storm track and intensity, this will be subject to change in the next 24 hours.


Travel Impacts for Colorado and Points NE

The heaviest snow looks to fall in Northeastern Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. Some of those areas may see up to a foot of snow so expect roads to become icy, snow packed and in some cases impassible due to heavy snow and wind.

The timing looks the worst between Wednesday evening and Thursday evening, so if you have travel planned in these areas please pay close attention to the weather forecasts and road conditions. While it may be tempting to drop South through Kansas due to less snow, we do see a good possibility for freezing rain in those areas.

So keep that in mind, there will be less snow in western Kansas but there will most likely be decent ice accumulation on the roads from freezing rain.

If you have any other travel related questions, feel free to ask on our Facebook Page!


Closer to Home; Snow, Timing and Impacts

Timing

It currently looks like this storm will begin to impact the Palmer Divide and I-25 corridor on Wednesday evening. Again, we don’t expect major issues with this storm for that area, but look at what happens when you head a bit east. I’d expect more of a moderate impact out across Elbert County and a more major impact as you move East and Northeast from there. Notice the heavier snowbands out across the Eastern plains of Colorado. Those areas will see the worst of the storm…

NAM3k model reflectivity 9:30PM 12-26

Be prepared to see snow across the entire area after about 4PM tomorrow.

Snowfall Amounts

Expected total snowfall over the next 72 hours for the Palmer Divide region

Again, no indication that this will be a major storm event unless the track shifts drastically over the next 24 hours. Heaviest snow impacts will be felt across the Eastern plains where they may see 5-10 inches of snow. Along the Palmer Divide, we are generally expecting 3-6 inches and given the current data I’d expect the lower end of that amount for most areas.

Impacts

Travel: Light to moderate impacts. Roads may become slick under areas of heavier snow into Wednesday evening. Travel impacts will become more severe the further East you go.

Strong winds are expected East of town, gusts up to 40mph may create blowing and drifting snow, along with reduced visibility

 


The storm is still evolving but we are getting a better idea about the details. Again, as today is Christmas we probably won’t have another update unless something drastic happens (shift in the track, etc…)

Stay tuned, we will have another update up tomorrow morning. Stay safe, stay warm and Merry Christmas!

 

Post Christmas 2018 Storm – Blizzard or Dud?

Why Trying to Predict Snowfall Totals is a Bad Idea

A quick rant… why? Because it helps me feel better, if you just want the storm stuff, skip this section 🙂

I’ve been harping on some folks this week about throwing out snow totals way too far in advance… I probably shouldn’t care. I should probably just move on and forget about it, but the fact of the matter is when people do this it makes them trust meteorologists a bit less each time when it comes out terribly wrong. It frustrates me, I know it shouldn’t but it does!

Case in point, here were the snowfall amounts people were throwing around just a few days ago:

See something like that and it’s pretty easy to think, “wow, we are going to get hit!” One notable agency in Elbert County even latched on the hype and started telling people out here to prepare for a major storm. When I called them on it they got defensive and told me that had reliable forecasts from someone who had been doing this for years. My point here is not to boast or brag, the point here is that where you get your weather from matters… it’s easy to get caught up in the hype, especially with the dry year we’ve had so far. (if that agency is reading this, I’d be happy to work with you in the future for more reliable weather forecasting… if not that’s cool too but I will call you out on bad meteorology…)

This brings me to my final point and I’ll be brief about it…

Don’t believe the hype! We don’t hype stuff at MountainWave Weather; we give you a cool, calm, collected and realistic view of what is going on. Based on sound meteorology and good forecasting… if you need to be worried about a major storm we will let you know in advance. If not, we will give you the details on what to be prepared for or tell you not to worry about it!

Ok, rant over… now to the good stuff!


Latest on the Post Christmas Storm

 

As of this morning, the storm center is just beginning to move onto the coast in the Pacific Northwest. We can clearly see the trough and associated wind and vorticity profiles in the image above. As we’ve discussed, the track this feature ultimately takes will mean a big difference for snowfall chances in Colorado.

There is still a decent amount of uncertainty between models, originally only the GFS and Euro were in range, but as of this morning the NAM is now picking up on the storm. Unfortunately, the addition of some of the shorter range models hasn’t helped us out a whole lot in regards to what this storm will do.

GFS predicted snowfall through Friday. Remember that image above of 12+ inches? That’s the GFS run from this past Friday…

Euro model predicted snowfall through later this week.

NAM model snowfall accumulation through late this week

So to summarize these models; they’ve all shifted to a lower snowfall solution for the front range of Colorado. While that takes a lot of wind out of our sails for a major storm, we still can’t completely count out a bigger snowfall event. Mainly because our storm still isn’t on shore yet, models don’t have a lot of good data to digest which means we will still see some flip flopping. That being said, it is looking less and less likely we see a major impact storm along Colorado’s front range with each consecutive set of data.

Here’s what the models say for snow for areas along the Palmer Divide as of this morning:

  • GFS
    • 1-3 inches
  • Euro
    • 3-6 inches
  • NAM
    • 2-4 inches

**Keep in mind, these are preliminary numbers and they WILL change as we get more data in on Monday and Tuesday.

WPC snowfall accumulations for the Palmer Divide if everything holds as is today. Again, these will change based on newer data coming in, but it’s always good to have a fuzzy idea of what to expect.

Timing

A lot of folks have been asking about when this storm actually hits so they can plan for travel. Right now it looks like most of the snow we see is through Wednesday and early Thursday. There may be a few flurries late Tuesday night but we don’t expect anything major to go on Tuesday night with the data we are seeing now.

If you are travelling to the East of Colorado; we expect much bigger impacts over Northern Kansas and into Nebraska. If you’re driving through those areas be sure to keep an eye on the forecast and be ready to change your route or pull over if things get too hairy.

If you are driving through any of this, please make sure you have a winter survival kit in your car!

We will continue to keep an eye on things… being that it’s Christmas Eve, don’t expect another update tonight unless something really interesting happens. Otherwise we should have an update Christmas morning, stay tuned!

Merry Christmas from us here at Mountain Wave Weather, we wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~John Braddock

 

Busy Travel Day! Here’s A Quick Weather Update

As we move into the holiday weekend with Christmas only a few days away, a lot of folks are hitting the airport or the roads to get to their Christmas destinations. Depending on where you’re going the weather will be just fine or may be a bit of a headache, even in Colorado there is a mixture of conditions. Here’s a quick update on what to expect if you’re travelling around Colorado or the nation today.

Colorado Weather

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Northern and Central Mountains of Colorado

If you are travelling into or through the mountains, expect slow travel conditions. A combination of wind and snow will make roads icy and snowpacked through the day Saturday. Expect slow going mainly west of the continental divide on Saturday.

A look at I-70 just West of the Eisenhower Tunnel Saturday morning

Closer to home, the Eastern plains of Colorado will see breezy and partly/mostly cloudy conditions. Snow showers are possible throughout the day but it doesn’t look like it will amount to much (if any) accumulation.

Expect snowfall for the Palmer Divide region over the next 24 hours

So overall, most of the travel difficulties for the state will be in the Northern and Central mountains for Saturday. You shouldn’t run into too many issues along the front range, but keep in mind snowfall amounts are expected to be slightly higher (1-3 inch range) on the far Northeast plains of Colorado into Wyoming and Nebraska.


National Weather

National radar for Saturday morning

Overall it’s not looking too bad for Saturday morning across the U.S. The main areas you’ll find precipitation are across Kansas, Nebraska and Northeastern Colorado. Additionally snow is being reported across North Dakota and the Northeast, none of which seems to be effecting airport operations.

Airport status as of Saturday morning

Most airports checking in with delays this morning are due to traffic… so weather not playing too much of a role.

extExpected 24 hour snow totals across the U.S.Over the next 24 hours the concentration of snow will be in the Pacific Northwest into Washington and Idaho mainly… some areas in Colorado will pick up a bit of snow along with the midwest and Northeast. None of these look like major storms, so delays for airports will probably be mainly around increased traffic.

If you’re driving in and around these areas, be prepared for winter driving conditions. Take it slow and be safe!


Next Week… Major Storm?

500 mb upper air GFS Model for next week

Models are keying in on a potentially large and powerful storm system that would affect the western and central US next week. We won’t go into too many details on this just yet because we don’t have enough information to nail down anything too accurate.

Here’s what you need to know for now:

We will begin to actively monitor this storm and post about it starting sometime on Sunday. We will be watching this very closely as it has the POTENTIAL for a big impact on Colorado. For now, don’t be worried too much about it but keep an eye on reliable weather resources through next week.

Chilly, snowy at Castle Rock Starlighting 2018!

Castle Rock’s Biggest Event of the Year!

If you’re new to Castle Rock or a seasoned veteran of the town, the Starlighting put on by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce is definitely an event not to be missed!

The the festivities run from 2PM-7P with the Starlighting Ceremony kicking off promptly at 5PM. Be sure to get there early to enjoy the vendors, food trucks and visit some of the small businesses in the area that often have hot cocoa!

Map for Castle Rock Starlighting 2018


The Weather

As is often the case with Starlighting, it looks chilly this year so be sure to be prepared for that! There is also a good possibility of snow showers on and off through the afternoon and into the evening hours. Doesn’t look like a major storm by any means, mainly the travel impacts we expect are from icy conditions on roads and sidewalks early in the day Saturday and then again into the evening hours.

Let’s look at some models real quick!

Modeled Precipitation

 

Saturday 1PM precipitation in the area

Saturday 3PM precipitation in the area

 

Saturday 6PM precipitation in the area

The takeaway; most models are pointing to scattered snow showers throughout the day on Saturday. The model snapshots above show snow showers throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours, keep in mind though any snow that is falling is expected to remain relatively light in intensity.

Modeled Temperatures

Saturday 1PM modeled temperatures

Saturday 3PM modeled temperatures

Saturday 6PM modeled temperatures

The takeaway; it’s going to be chilly throughout the event. We expect temperatures to peak in the mid 20’s by afternoon dropping to low 20’s to upper teens by later in the evening hours. Be sure to dress warm, have hats, gloves and hand-warmers for your family. Another good suggestion is to duck into the small businesses and say hello when it’s getting chilly out, they usually have the heaters cranked up pretty high. It’s also a great chance to meet some new folks!

 


Be Prepared! Here’s our Castle Rock Starlighting 2018 Checklist!

Enjoy and stay warm everyone!

Be prepared! Sunday Will Be Cold and Snowy Along Palmer Divide

For the past few days we’ve had an idea that a storm would affect the region late Saturday into Sunday but we didn’t think much of it because it really didn’t look like much was there.

Yesterday the storm started to come together a bit better on the models and we saw that snowfall was looking more likely in the area and models continued to bump snowfall totals up ever so slightly. Even still, the meteorology just didn’t support much out of this storm with the data we were seeing at the time… the storm looked to moving too fast, upslope didn’t establish well and like with most storms of this track, moisture was a concern.

Today we’ve seen more data and modeling coming in and a few interesting things have begun to manifest…

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 12AM-4PM Sunday


Snapshot of Nam3K model for Sunday morning

Models overall have shown more support for a bit longer of a duration event, which basically means the storm lingers a bit longer. This is good news if you’re looking to squeeze a little bit more snow out of this storm. The snapshot above for Sunday morning from the Nam3K shows a lot of snow and a lot of energy in the area. Notice the stronger returns along the Palmer Divide, especially in the Douglas County area… this means upslope looks to establish for a time and provided it can stay there long enough, there should be ample time and energy for some snow to stick.

If we take a look at another model, the RAP we see a similar pattern. This is a lower resolution model so it doesn’t have quite the detail as the last, but it’s good that there is some alignment between the two.

RAP model for 9AM Sunday

I’d love to show the HRRR model, but it’s just out of range right now. May be able to show it in a few hours if it is picking up on anything interesting. Stay tuned for that.


What to Expect

Timing

I don’t see much happening on Saturday with the current data we are getting… it looks like the largest impact of this storm will come Sunday morning.

  • Light snow possible before midnight, not much accumulation
  • Early Sunday morning snow intensity will pick up
  • Expect heavier snow showers through early morning and late morning on Sunday
  • Some models continue snowfall into the afternoon hours, so be prepared for those conditions if you’re out and about

 

Impacts

  • Travel impacts may include slushy and icy roads
  • We expect any travel impacts to be most prevalent on Sunday morning
  • Should snow linger into the afternoon, it may be cold enough for the roads to stay slushy and snowpacked in some areas

 

Snowfall Totals

Still a bit tricky on this call as models are nearly 50/50 split between two scenarios with this storm. Half of the models have the storm leaving early (remember most of them have done this so far this year) which would result in lower snowfall. The other half show the storm moving through the area slower which would mean we see higher snow totals.

Here’s the results of the two scenarios with our latest data in:

Scenario 1 – Slower Moving Storm… higher snowfall amounts

Scenario 2 – Quicker Moving Storm… lower snowfall amounts

So… still lots of information to chew through and a few questions still remaining. We should get a better idea on snowfall this evening as our higher resolution, short range models come in. Nearly every model is picking up on the snow accumulation as a sure thing for the front range and Palmer Divide… so expect that. The details we still need to sort out will be exactly how many inches of snow we see.

Stay tuned!

10/30/2018 – Tuesday AM Storm Update

Total snowfall accumulation through Wednesday PM 10-31-2018

Expected Snowfall totals for Areas Around the Palmer Divide

Here’s our latest thinking on overall snowfall for areas along the Palmer Divide. Our forecast is largely in line with the NWS forecast, but lower than some of the TV stations have been predicting around here. I still think the ground being so warm will play a part in melting some of the initial snowfall and suppressing snow totals just a bit.

-Castle Rock: 4-8 inches
-Parker: 4-8 inches
-Lone Tree: 3-6 inches
-Kiowa/Elizabeth: 3-6 inches
-Elbert 4-8 inches
-Larkspur: 5-10 inches
-Palmer Lake: 6-12 inches
-Black Forest: 5-10 inches
-Monument: 6-12 inches
-Woodland Park: 7-14 inches

Updated Impacts/Advisories

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from Tuesday 12PM through Wednesday 6AM for travel impacts due to snow

Plan on slippery road conditions. The
hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute Tuesday
and the commute Wednesday morning.

See updated Weather Warnings and Advisories for Castle Rock and the surrounding area on our Weather Warnings page.

Look at the first bit of precipitation moving through as of 10:30 AM this morning

  • Impacts
    • Expect tricky travel conditions Tuesday evening, overnight Tuesday and Wednesday mornings
    • Roads will become snow-packed and icy in areas
    • Colder air will be in place Tuesday and Wednesday so be prepared for chilly conditions
  • Timing
    • Scattered snow showers will be possible earlier in the day Tuesday
    • Expect more substantial snow showers to develop later in the Tuesday, through the evening and overnight hours
    • Snow showers will linger through Wednesday morning
    • Snow should clear by mid-day Wednesday
    • Clearing conditions will continue through the day into the evening Wednesday but cold conditions will remain

Halloween Temperatures

Temperatures on Halloween 2018 ~ 4PM

Halloween is going to be chilly, if you have trick-or-treaters going out, be sure to dress warm and watch for remaining ice on the roads and sidewalks. The model above has temperatures generally in the low 30’s to upper 20’s across most of the Palmer Divide around 4PM.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on it and pass along any storm updates as needed on Tuesday. Stay warm!