Dec 16

Urgent! Storm Update

Lots to talk about with this storm and some new warnings have been issued with this storm that people need to know about. This is a bit of a lond upgate but there’s a ton of important information.

Latest Weather Watches and Warnings

wxadvisories_wide12162016

Here’s the rundown:

  • Winter Storm Warning
    • For:
      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,
      AND WINTER PARK
    • Duration: 
      REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM MST
      SATURDAY
    • Impacts: 
      * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 16 INCHES.
      
      * WIND/VISIBILITY...WEST TO SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 35 MPH WITH
        GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH WILL PRODUCE BLOWING SNOW OVER THE HIGHER
        PASSES AND RIDGES THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT. VISIBILITIES MAY FALL
        BELOW A FEW HUNDRED FEET AT TIMES IN HEAVY SNOWFALL AND
        BLOWING SNOW.
      
      * IMPACTS...THE SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL PRODUCE HAZARDOUS AND
        VERY DIFFICULT TRAVEL CONDITIONS ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS TODAY
        THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND ROAD
        CLOSURES ARE HIGHLY POSSIBLE.
  • Wind Advisory
    • For: 
      GRAND JUNCTION...FRUITA...PALISADE...
      DE BEQUE...NEW CASTLE...MESA...PARACHUTE...RIFLE...SILT...EAGLE...
      EDWARDS...GLENWOOD SPRINGS...CARBONDALE...MONTROSE...HOTCHKISS...
      DELTA...GUNNISON...CIMARRON...GATEWAY...NUCLA
    • Duration: 
      UNTIL 11 PM MST THIS EVENING
    • Impacts:
      * WINDS...SOUTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.
      
      * IMPACTS...DRIVING WILL BE DIFFICULT ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH
        PROFILE VEHICLES. LOOSE OUTDOOR OBJECTS MAY BE TOSSED AROUND
        IF NOT PROPERLY SECURED.
  • Wind Chill Advisory
    • For: 
      FORT COLLINS, HEREFORD, LOVELAND, NUNN,
      AURORA, BRIGHTON, CITY OF DENVER, DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT,
      HIGHLANDS RANCH, LITTLETON, PARKER, CASTLE ROCK, ELBERT, FONDIS,
      KIOWA, LARKSPUR, EATON, FORT LUPTON, GREELEY, AND ROGGEN
    • Duration: FROM 5 AM TO NOON MST SATURDAY FOR THE URBAN CORRIDOR
    • Impacts: 
      * WIND CHILL VALUES...15 TO 25 BELOW ZERO.
      
      * IMPACTS...THE COLD TEMPERATURES AND WINDS WILL PRODUCE
        DANGEROUS WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES WITH POSSIBLE HYPOTHERMIA
        CONDITIONS WITH EXPOSED SKIN.
      
      PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
      
      A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS
      WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN
      FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
      IF YOU MUST VENTURE OUTDOORS...MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND
      GLOVES.
  • Wind Chill Warning
    • For: 
      NORTHEAST WELD COUNTY-MORGAN COUNTY-
      CENTRAL AND EAST ADAMS AND ARAPAHOE COUNTIES-
      NORTH AND NORTHEAST ELBERT COUNTY BELOW 6000 FEET/NORTH LINCOLN
      COUNTY-LOGAN COUNTY-WASHINGTON COUNTY-SEDGWICK COUNTY-
      PHILLIPS COUNTY-
    • Duration:
      ...WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM TO NOON MST
      SATURDAY...
    • Impacts: 
      * WIND CHILL VALUES FOR THE ADVISORY WILL RANGE FROM 15 TO 25
        BELOW ZERO. WIND CHILL VALUES WILL DROP BELOW 25 DEGREES BELOW
        ZERO FROM 5 AM UNTIL NOON SATURDAY.
      
      * IMPACTS...THE COLD TEMPERATURES AND WINDS WILL PRODUCE
        DANGEROUS WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES WITH POSSIBLE HYPOTHERMIA
        CONDITIONS WITH EXPOSED SKIN.
      
      PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
      
      A WIND CHILL WARNING MEANS THE COMBINATION OF VERY COLD AIR AND
      STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE DANGEROUSLY LOW WIND CHILL VALUES. THIS
      WILL RESULT IN FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA OR DEATH IF
      PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.
See all Castle Rock specific Watches/Warnings/Advisories on our Weather Warnings Page

Snow Has Moved Into The Area

2

Most models have remained on track with regards to snow this evening. The HRRR model (which called the last couple of storms quite well) shows the Castle Rock area generally in the 2-4 inch range we have been going with since yesterday.

sn10_acc-us_c

There is a big but with this model run; while it shows banding of snow most models have trouble predicting exactly where these set up. Any areas under the narrow bands of heavy snow could end up seeing way more than predicted. This makes the snowfall forecast very tricky for us but this is what we have so far.

Castle Rock Area Predicted Total Snowfall Accumulation through Saturday PM
2-4 inches — if we end up under a stronger snow band we could see something more in the 4-8 inch range!

We are generally sticking with the 2-4 inch range for now in Castle Rock butare concerned about higher totals if the town gets stuck under a heavy snow band. We will keep an eye on it.


Extreme Cold

sfctwc-us_c

Please understand that these types of wind chills ARE DANGEROUS. If you are trapped outside without proper clothing for a period of time, you can get frost bite or hypothermia. If you must venture outside, be prepared.

Please bring your pets inside tonight, these are dangerous conditions for them as well, no matter the breed!

Wind chill values are expected to be in the -10 to -30 range across the front range of Colorado by Saturday morning. The above image is for around 8AM Saturday morning and shows values in and around Castle Rock as low as -23.


Impacts

  • Snow will stick to the roads quickly and make travel difficult. We are already seeing evidence of this at the time of this posting.
  • Flash Freezing is possible for some roadways, this will make travel dangerous
  • By Saturday morning the temperatures will the the biggest issue. Wind chill values will mean prolonged exposure could result in frost bite and hypothermia.

More data is coming in with this storm, we will continue tracking it and have further updates if needed.

 

John R. Braddock
Storm Chaser/ Amateur Meteorologist at Mountain Wave Weather
John R. Braddock is a NOAA/NWS Certified Storm Chaser and Amateur Meteorologist living in Castle Rock, Colorado. A graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and a Colorado native, he specializes in short range forecasting, severe weather and mountain weather dynamics.

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