Broncos Parade Day Weather Outlook

 

The Denver Broncos Superbowl parade is scheduled for Tuesday in Denver. The good new is, the weather is going to be absolutely beautiful! This is not a tricky forecast, expect light winds and warm temperatures throughout the day.

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Coming this week… a look at the rest of February and a sneak peak into March. Stay tuned!

 

 

Castle Rock Weather Weekend Outlook Feb 5-7

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Friday February 5, 2016

Morning sunny skies will give way to partly cloudy conditions in the afternoon. Some areas may be a bit breezy throughout the day, especially near the foothills. Temperatures will top out in the upper 30’s with night time temperatures in the upper teens to low 20’s.

Saturday February 6, 2016

Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy skies  throughout the day. Temperatures will be much warmer with highs in the low to mid 50’s during the day and night time temps into the lower 20’s. Down-slope winds from the Southwest and West throughout the day will aid in the warm up, despite the snow on the ground, some areas may see breezy conditions.

Super Bowl Sunday February 7, 2016

Winds will shift to the East meaning our warm up will pause for a day or two. Expect cloudy to mostly cloudy conditions, winds should be light overall. Temperatures will reach the low 30’s during the day and upper teens to low 20’s overnight.

No snow is expected throughout the weekend, major snowstorms look unlikely for the next 7-10 days

One more thing…

Go Broncos!

Tuesday Winter Storm Update

Radar Loop Through 10AM


Colorado’s winter storm has performed as expected going into Monday night and Tuesday though,  as you can see from the radar loop above, the main energy of this storm has left Colorado. This will bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions to many areas in the midwest throughout the day. We still expect to see some light to moderate snowfall along the front range of Colorado as left over moisture and lift continue to combine today, so expect a bit more snow this morning.

Snowfall Totals So Far

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A look at the snowfall totals from this morning shows a bias towards East of town and South of town for higher snowfall. Areas in and around town generally seem to be between 10-12 inches. These numbers are from the NWS and are from trained spotters so they have been verified for accuracy and measured through a stricter protocol. The main issue with measurements today is the blowing and drifting snow, it makes some areas collect more snow than others so we have to account for this.

For the Rest of Tuesday

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Expect light to moderate snow to remain throughout the morning with gradual clearing this afternoon. We should see cloudy to party cloudy conditions into the late afternoon and overnight hours. This will make for very cold evening so bundle up!

 

Winter Storm Ramping Up Across Front Range

The Winter Storm’s center has finally made its move over the Southeast corner of Colorado and has shifted the winds and moisture to be more favorable for snowfall along the front range. This will probably be my last forecast post on this storm so let’s take a look at where we stand.

Model Updates

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You’ll notice, no GFS! Mainly because these shorter range models are much more accurate (although the GFS is accurate at this point as well) I generally like the NAM4K and HRRR at this point as they are much higher resolution and can pick up finer details better.

These images show what you can expect on top of what you already have this evening, so if you already have 3 or 4, expect another 3 or 4 more tonight. Tuesday morning should end up with around 5-10 inches for Denver, I expect higher totals South of Denver so Castle Rock should finish in the 6-12 inch range. The one wild-card here is the East/West gradient, I’d suspect areas immediately East of the town of Castle Rock could possible see more.

Tuesday Morning Impact

Whatever the snow totals for us along the front range, the roads were very bad this evening going into tonight. A layer of ice has formed under snowpack collecting on the roads and led to several accidents. Some major highways are closed (I-70 is closed East of Denver to Kansas)

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Image courtesy of CDOT

I-25 is looking pretty rough at the moment, the roads will be pretty dicey with the combination of wind and snow throughout the night. Plan on allowing a ton of extra time if you have to travel in the morning.

School delays and closings are a possibility to so tune to local media for that information, or our friends at CRCO usually have that information as well.

One last thing I’ll mention is that some radar loops show this storm slowing down. If this occurs and the storm stalls, we could see additional snowfall into Tuesday late morning. This would increase overall storm totals, not ready to call anything on that yet as most models don’t see this as a significant change. Should this happen, I’ll have one more update early tomorrow.

This should be my last forecast post on this storm, I usually try to follow up with a couple of recap posts after the storm has passed. I hope you all enjoyed my coverage and thank you to everyone who joined me to follow this storm!

 

Winter Storm Still on Track

A lot of folks are waking up this morning and asking, “where is the storm?”, “did the storm miss us?”

The answer is no, it is just not here yet. Sunday night into Monday’s snow featured initial bands of snow that pushed into the area ahead of the storm, it was never going to be the main focus.

You can see from the graphic below the storm position as of this morning versus where it will be this afternoon. The position it is in this morning is not favorable for snow along the front range of Colorado so we are waiting for it to move Eastward. Once it makes it East of the divide and into Southeastern Colorado we should begin to see more and heavier bands of snow push into the area. This could start as early as this afternoon, so be aware about that with the evening commute.

The bottom row in the graphic shows the HRRR at various times this afternoon, you can see that it is predicting some heavier snow between the 1-8pm hours, so as of right now this storm is mostly on track to bring good snow to the area this afternoon and tonight.

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We had a quick look at the models this morning and they remained mostly on target as to where they were late last night. Snow totals have decreased overall mainly because of an increase in the speed of the storm. If there is nothing out East to block it or slow it down, it moves through Colorado very quickly. The quicker the storm moves through, the less time it has to drop significant snow over Colorado.

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The models still snow significant snow by Tuesday morning. Due to the elevation Denver may see slightly less, probably in the 5-10 inch range. Castle Rock and areas along the Palmer Divide will see 6-12 inches with possible higher amounts East of Castle Rock towards Limon.

The 6-12 inch range looks likely for the Castle Rock area, but as you can see from the probabilities below, the lower amount of this range is most likely. A total accumulation over 4 inches is likely, over 6 inches is even decently likely but you can see as you try to accumulate over the 8 inch range your probability is only about 40%. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it just means it is less likely to see over 8 inches of snow. Accumulation over a foot is very unlikely based on this data.

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Data Source: The Weather Prediction Center

Keep in mind if this all verifies (likely it will) tonight’s commute home may be a rough one!

Stay tuned and we’ll have further updates if any of this changes by this afternoon.

 

 

Significant Winter Storm to Affect Colorado Front Range

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The National Weather Service in Denver has pulled the trigger and upgraded our Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning. They have also adjusted the start time from midnight to 8:00pm Sunday.

A Winter Storm Warning means that a winter storm containing heavy snowfall will make travel conditions dangerous. They specifically mention the Monday morning timeline, Monday during the day, overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning.

You can read the NWS Warning Statement here for extra details

Castle Rock’s Snowfall Prediction

Monday Morning: 3-6 inches

Tuesday Morning: 8-14 inches

*Don’t let the low totals fool you on Monday AM, roads may get quite bad very quickly!

Synopsis

Model guidance as of this afternoon continues to hone in on this storm. They are still not completely in agreement with some significant out-liers either way but two of the ones I tend to trust more in this time frame are pretty close together in agreement.

Snow will begin Sunday evening and become a bit heavier overnight into Monday morning. Don’t expect a huge amount of snow Monday morning for the commute but do expect icy roads, stronger winds and tough travel conditions.

If you make the trek into work on Monday morning, please keep in mind conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the day. The Monday evening commute could be one heck of a mess.

Snowfall is expected to continue through the day Monday and will become heavier later in the day into the evening. The Monday evening commute could be a very messy one if this verifies.

Snow will continue overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning. The combination of cold temperatures, continued snowfall and strong winds could make travel dangerous through this period.

Modeling Updates

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First we look at the projected snowfall totals through Monday morning. Most agree on the 3-6 inch range by morning, this along with strong winds could make the roads icy very quickly.

When looking at total storm accumulation by Wednesday morning:

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I cannot stress this enough but, these are preliminary model runs and I expect these totals to change going into Sunday night. I will have updates as necessary.

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The forecast confidence right now is moderate. This mainly because there is still uncertainty between models on the overall positioning of this storm. Any wobble going into this evening could mean much higher or lower snow totals.

Stick with us as we will have updates this evening with any changes with this storm; higher or lower.

 

 

**Winter Storm Watch Issued**

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The National Weather Service in Denver has issued a Winter Storm Watch for much of Colorado including areas South of Denver, along the Palmer Divide and for Castle Rock proper. The watch means conditions are favorable for a storm that could make travel conditions difficult.

The watch runs from midnight Monday through about noon on Tuesday, the heaviest snowfall is expected during this period.

A Watch means conditions are favorable, we will look for a warning before deciding this storm is a sure thing. There is still considerable uncertainty with the storm track overall and that can make a huge difference in how much snow the front range sees.

Speaking of how the models are doing:

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In the image above, the GFS is on the top and the NAM on the bottom. The GFS has backed down, just slightly this morning but model bouncing is still in play here. The NAM favors a more southern track to the storm which would mean less snow for Denver, but not necessarily less for those of us along the Palmer Divide.

The storm system has not moved onshore for the U.S. yet so models are still having trouble with the track. Any wobble could make a huge difference in the total snowfall.

For now we continue to stress the impact of the storm. We are not hyping it up, we are not telling anyone to be scared, this will not be the biggest storm we have ever seen, but it may be the largest this year.

Be prepared!

Confidence Increasing for Significant Colorado Winter Storm

WinterWxStory1_01302016Model guidance is beginning to agree that a large storm system will affect Colorado between Sunday night and Tuesday night. Each model across the board increased overall snowfall accumulations with last night’s run,  mainly due to a northward shift by several of these models. The biggest question still remaining is the final placement of the storm center. While many of these models have this in the same area, some of them do not which still creates uncertainty in the forecast.

What we know for sure as of this morning:

  • Nearly all models are in agreement that Colorado and especially the front range will see snow during the Sunday – Tuesday night period
  • The mountains and foothills will see heavy snow
  • Winds of 15-25 knots (17-28 mph) will be possible during the storm along the front range, this could create considerable blowing and drifting of snow
  • Front range could see periods of heavy snow and wind, especially later in the day Monday and overnight into Tuesday
  • Most models show between 10-25 inches total snowfall for this storm. Please keep in mind, this is still very early and we expect those numbers to change significantly in the next 24-48 hours
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GFS predicted snowfall (top) NAM predicted snowfall (bottom)

This Could be a High Impact Storm

We continue to stress that should this storm set up correctly, the snowfall numbers won’t be the issue to look at. What will be important is the impact, at the end of the day, does it matter if you get 2 feet or 3 feet of snow if all the roads are closed and you are not able to travel? Nope! This storm is not really 50/50 anymore, it is more like 60/40 leaning towards a significant storm, this confidence should trend upwards with more consistent model runs today.

Use Saturday as your preparation day for these impacts!

  • A prolonged period of heavy snow and high winds is expected
  • Roads will become icy and snow packed, roads to our East may become impassable due to drifting snow
  • Airline cancellations and delays will be very likely
  • School and business closures will be possible
  • Travel will become very treacherous at times

 

Get your errands done today, get to the store and don’t leave anything to the last minute. Be prepared! Stay tuned here and we will provide more updates as this storm system evolves. Happy Saturday!

 

Next Week’s Winter Storm Update

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The latest model runs from this morning have shifted our snowfall totals down for the period next week. Most were showing a healthy dose of snow at or over a foot yesterday, most are generally in the 6-12 inch range this morning. There are a couple of factors that seem to support this:

  • Models across the board are showing a slight shift to the South of the storm system’s center. This would mean a lot of the energy that was expected to hit the Denver area will slide South further. This will diminish our snow totals.
  • The high pressure systems to our Northwest and Northeast may not linger long enough to stall this storm out
  • If nothing blocks this storm and stalls it over Colorado, it will move more quickly through and exit the state sooner, this would also mean less snowfall.
  • There is a large low pressure system to the Northeast over Canada that may also influence this storm, again if this low moves to quickly, our storm will also move quicker.

This is the situation as we see it this morning, it is still worth mentioning that this storm is quite a ways out so this set of model runs is not the end-all be-all.

While I’m on the subject, a quick note about what I like to call “model bounce.”

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Shown above are 3 GFS model runs in 24 hour increments starting with 1/27 and ending today. You can notice that the first run had Denver around 11 inches, the second bumped it up to 13.5 and as of this morning we are down to about 8.

This is something we see rather often with longer range models when they are still trying to get a grasp on a storm system. The further out we are from the storm, the tougher time the models have at predicting it. The GFS is a nice longer range model, but it struggles with snowfall on many days out from the storm system, so when I show these images please keep in mind that these are more of a guideline of what models believe the atmospheric set will be.

The main point here is still the impact scenario: the snow totals are not super important yet, they won’t be anywhere near accurate for a few days anyway. What the models are showing us is that there will be some duration of snowfall across the front range from the Sunday to Tuesday time frame.

At this point, this storm is still 50/50. I have not seen any evidence to support over a foot of snow and no evidence to say we couldn’t get 0 inches of snow. It’s simply too early to tell!

I’ll continue to have updates as this storm evolves, look for my official preliminary snowfall totals sometime on Saturday. Stay tuned!

 

 

Large Winter Storm Likely to Affect Western U.S.

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Models across the board are in agreement on a large winter storm set to move into the Western U.S. I will admit, it is unusual to see them all pretty close to each other this far out from a storm, however it does happen from time to time. At this time, our confidence is high that some area of the Western and Midwestern U.S. will see a significant storm.

The big question and one the models don’t quite agree on at the moment is where it hits and how fast it moves. In Colorado and especially along the front range, this means everything. A wobble in where the storm sets up can mean the difference between a 2-4 inch snowstorm and a 15-20 inch snowstorm.

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Let me clear, this is a setup we look for in large winter storms to affect the front range of Colorado, the ingredients are there. That being said, everything has to come together perfectly for this system to produce over Colorado. As you can see from the image above, I have outlined some of these features:

  • The low pressure system is expected to set up over Southeastern Colorado. This position allows the system to draw ample amounts of moisture from the gulf into Colorado. The counter-clockwise turn of the low allows winds to shift to the East or Northeast, providing upslope and enhancing snowfall
  • A high pressure system to the Northwest pulls colder air in from Canada. This is imperative to snowfall totals as the colder it is, the higher the snowfall will generally be. One other thing it can possible do, depending on it’s position; the clockwise turning winds around this feature can enhance the upslope flow coming off of the low to the Southeast.

Clearly the ingredients are there for this storm. We still have a few questions we need answered:

  • Where do the low and high set up? This is crucial, any wobble north or south of these features can be the difference between a monster snowstorm and a total bust!
  • How quickly does this system move? To see larger snowfall totals we would like that High Pressure system off the coast of Florida to block or stall our system for awhile. This would allow a longer period of upslope and snowfall.

Be Prepared!

This storm is about 50/50 right now on whether it will affect areas along the front range in Colorado. I am in no way saying this storm will hit us yet, but my concern is that if it does, it may be a doozy! Thursday and Friday are a great day to begin preparing;

  • If you need anything from the grocery store, Thursday and Friday will be your days to go. With the media already hyping this storm, I can see a lot of “store runners” out on Saturday and Sunday. Get there early and get your shopping done before the shelves are bear.
  • Get any medications filled you need, again Saturday and Sunday are going to be rough days to be at a grocery store.
  • Fill up the gas tanks in your cars, never know if/when this might come in handy.
  • Get the shovels and snowblowers ready!

 

This forecast will shift quite a bit over the next few days. There is no guarantee Denver will see anything from this storm just yet, but we need to be prepared because if it does hit the Denver area, it could be significant.

Stay tuned to our website and/or Facebook page, we will have updates on the model data and pass along any Watches or Warnings as they become available.