If anyone has travels plans in or out of or through Denver on Wednesday it’s likely it isn’t going to happen. The Wednesday cold storm that is going to mix with our warm storm is going to be a classic spring storm for the Denver area as well as the eastern and northeastern Colorado Plains. It is highly likely that I-76 will be closed well into Nebraska as well as parts of I-25 north of town. Rain will transition to ice then heavy snow and high winds as temperatures drop quickly. Winter Storm Watches have already been issued.
In the meantime, the 2 1/4″ inches of snow that fell this morning here is the best I am going to see probably until Wednesday morning. Snow levels will rise today quickly to 8,000 feet by 1 pm. This evening it looks like they will go to 8,300 feet. At the moment it looks like they will go even higher on Tuesday, as high as 8,700-9,000 feet by Tuesday evening before dropping after midnight and return to about 6,600 feet by Wednesday morning. The longer I go into the forecast period the less confident I am in the details.
Wednesday is looking less promising for snow for the lower elevations at the moment, that could change we will see. These classic I-76 blizzard events tend to move through very quickly and tend to end quickly for the area, except in the areas that favor NW flow (Telluride and Silverton).
I have not changed my thoughts on snow accumulations since my last update. In case you missed it, for Purgatory I am looking for 8-12″ by Tuesday night, then an additional 5-10″ by Thursday. For Telluride, I originally had 3-6″ by Tuesday evening then an additional 10-15″ by Thursday. I may be too low on the first part and too high on the second but I like the storm total. For Wolf Creek (you should not get missed this time) 18-28″ by Friday morning.
For other areas, I am starting to see signs of a freezing rain event Tuesday afternoon, it is probably too early to worry (30 hours out). However, I wanted to mention it because it’s not the first time it has shown up on the model runs and it would be a bad deal occurring in the late afternoon hours and it shows it encompassing a large area from Hermosa to as far south as 302 along the 550 corridor, as well as the entire 160 corridor from the La Plata and Montezuma County border all of the way into Archuleta County. Basically, it is showing it hitting the most populated areas of the entire County.
As I said it’s too early to worry but just be aware and stay tuned. I am keeping an eye on it because I am showing property in Purgatory tomorrow and this would likely be the time I would be driving back to Durango.
The red line is the 32-degree line, the darker the colors the heavier the precipitation. Green is rain, blue is snow, pink is freezing rain. Yuck.
Precip will be spotty and on and off this morning and early afternoon, but things will ramp up late afternoon and early evening.
If I see anything else pop up on the new model runs worth talking about I will let you know.