Make it stop already, Mother Nature.
In less than two weeks so far this February, Denver already has seen nearly 16 inches of snowfall. After a needed run of sunshine and mild temperatures this weekend, snow and cold likely will return to the Front Range and the Denver area on Monday.
A trough of low pressure will move in from the Pacific Northwest on Monday, bringing with it the chance for more accumulating snowfall for the Front Range early next week. While snowfall amounts and chances are far from certain, it does appear that at least some snow will impact the Denver metro area on Monday into Tuesday.
“It’s looking better than even … Just in terms of easterly upslope (winds), it looks a little stronger in that category,” said Paul Schlatter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Boulder. “Maybe a little bit more confidence of accumulating snow.”
The main window for accumulations would appear to come later Monday into early Tuesday, potentially making the Monday evening and Tuesday morning commutes especially tricky.
Most of February’s snowfall along the Front Range has come from narrow bands of heavy snow that have often exceeded expectations. Unlike those more unusual setups, however, the storm system early next week will be caused in part by a more traditional look for Front Range snowfall: an area of low pressure southeast of Denver.
Winds around low pressure move in a counter-clockwise fashion. When low pressure is located southeast of Denver, it usually means that means that moisture-rich air is able to back against the mountains, forcing the air to rapidly rise and condense into precipitation. With a cold front accompanying this next storm, snow will be likely along the Front Range early next week.
This next system looks to follow that fairly classic setup.
“It has more ingredients (than recent storms),” Schlatter said on Friday. “When you get upslope like this, most places along and west of (Interstate) 25 will get snow.”
Regardless of exact metro area accumulations, however, heavy mountain snowfall appears likely, starting on Saturday night. Sharp northwesterly flow will favor Colorado’s northern mountains, where several inches of snow could fall starting Saturday and potentially lasting through Monday.
This would continue an exceptionally snowy start to February throughout central and northern Colorado. If recent weather is any sign, however, it’s that even the smallest storms seem to be producing huge totals across Colorado.
“February’s been pretty amazing,” Schlatter said. “Even the most innocent looking systems seem to produce 4 to 6 inches. This one looks a little better than previous systems.”