Current Colorado Weather Highlights

Currently the only winter weather highlights in the state of Colorado are in the Western mountains near Glenwood Springs and strecthinb North to Steamboat and South to just West of Crested Butte. Those areas of the mountains will see snow showers add up to around 4-8 inches of fresh snow through 6AM on Saturday. Wind gusts up to 35mph may make for slick roads and poor visibility at times - plan on difficult travel in these areas for the rest of the day Friday and early into Saturday morning.

There are currently no weather highlights for Eastern Colorado regarding the next storm moving through Friday/Saturday and Sunday.

Tricky Snowfall Forecast on Tap

When are they not tricky? As we move later into March, we have to start considering more variables in a snowfall forecast, mainly the increased sun angle that promotes melting and warmer ground temperatures that do the same. Those two points will factor into this storm but there is one more monkey-wrench to throw in with this storm: our old friend - snow bands... ugh.

Storms like this are not typically huge snow producers, but the totals can vary drastically over short geographic distances and also vary depending on if the snow bands set up and how intense they are. If any of that doesn't come together, you've got a lot of busted forecasts.

Here's an illustration with the Palmer Divide:

Palmer Divide Snowfall Forecast (Snow band doesn't set up, moves through too quickly or is weaker in intensity - gives us less than expected snowfall forecast)

As you can see, mainly light snowfall for most areas along the Palmer Divide and Front Range Foothills. This would give us a low end forecast for Castle Rock as 1 inch for example with a high end at 3 inches.

Let's look at scenario 2:

Palmer Divide Snowfall Forecast (Snow band sets up, is stronger in intensity and doesn't move through too quick - higher end snowfall forecast)

I've highlighted the area the models are most consistent about with where the snow band sets up and anchors for a bit. If this scenario were to verify, some areas would see a higher end of 5-6" of snow. The kicker here is models are good at showing a snow band is likely but rarely nail the location, timing and intensity - makes them very difficult to forecast.

Should this band shift a bit North, Denver could get hammered while places like Castle Rock and Larkspur could see very little.

It produces some pretty wide snowfall forecast numbers, but that has to happen when we have such high uncertainty as we do with this storm. The National Weather Service went all in with the full range on their latest forecast:

1-5 inches for Castle Rock is a pretty wide spread, so is 2 to 7 inches for Limon! Considering the uncertainty around that snow band that moves through with the front later tonight and how much lift we get - I don't think we'll be able to narrow down that range a whole lot more unless we get much better agreement from the models.

For now, prepare for a 70% chance of a light/minor snowfall event and a 30% chance of a moderate snowfall event along the Palmer Divide.

Snowfall Forecast (Rest of Colorado)

As this won't be a major snow event for most, here's just a quick look at possible snowfall totals for other parts of the state:

Timing and Impacts

Our timing and impact graphic below should give you a decent idea of when we are expecting the best chances for snow, cold temperatures and any possible travel impacts.

Best shot at snow comes for later Friday through early Saturday morning for the Palmer Divide. Temperatures will be chilly tonight with lows in the twenties, but Saturday and Sunday night could both see lows in the teens (moderate impact outlined.)

I don't have room for Sunday PM but there's another short-wave moving through late Sunday that will likely add to the snow a bit. That snow has been factored into most of my snowfall forecasts shown above so don't expect all of that to fall on Friday/Saturday but I believe most of it will - unless something changes.

Another Storm Next Week Is Being Closely Watched

Site supporters, as a thank you for supporting this site and what I do, here's a sneak peak on a storm system next week that has my eye! Make sure you login to see that content!

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