General Recap

Second storm has come and gone for the Colorado front range. A lot of folks have asked and the answer is yes; the amount of cold we've seen and the amount of snow we've seen this October is unusual. A series of storm systems moved through the area and made it feel much more like late December than October. The first wave delivered snowfall mostly as expected (you can read that storm re-cap here) and while the second went mostly according to plan... there were a few things that threw us a curve-ball.

Let's take a look!

Snow Forecast Recap


48 hour interpolated snowfall accumulations for Colorado

Here’s the point-by-point rundown:

Legend: [Verified Within Forecast Range] [Close to Forecast Range (+/- 1-2 inches of accumulation] [Minor Forecast Bust (+/- 2-4 inches of accumulation] [Major Forecast Bust (+/-4 inches or more/less accumulation]

City 24-48 hour Forecast Range Within 12-24 hour Forecast Range Actual Amount
Castle Rock 5-10 7-14 4.4
Parker 5-10 7-14 10.0
Highlands Ranch 3-7 4-8 4.5
Elbert 4-8 5-10 6.0
Elizabeth 5-10 6-12 7.8
Kiowa 2-5 3-7 N/A
Centennial 3-7 4-8 6.4
Denver 4-8 5-10 5.0
Larkspur 4-8 4-8 6.7
Monument 4-8 4-8 4.8
Black Forest 3-7 3-6 3.5
Littleton 3-7 4-8 5.0
As of this writing no stations reported near Kiowa, data not included in counts below.
  • Overall Forecast Range Recap:
    • 10 out of 11 verified
    • 0 out of 11 were very close to forecast range
    • 1 were minor busts
    • 0 were major busts
  • Grade of this forecast: GOOD



While the snow amounts and impacts played out pretty closely to the forecast, the one thing I didn't like about this storm was the timing. It was unexpected to get the bulk of our snow in the morning, then clearing in the afternoon followed by late arrival of additional snow that evening. On top of that, the second wave which supposed to be stronger didn't materialize for most areas.

These types of storms are tricky, storms back to back like this can do some funny things. Not only did they mess with the models but a lot of meteorologists were surprised. Not a forecast miss by any means, but something that we probably all could have done a bit better on.