Lee Side Cyclogenisis

A storm system in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere will track from the Pacific Northwest early Saturday across southern Wyoming  to a position over northern Kansas by Sunday Morning. When storms track to the north of the Colorado Front Range Foothill communities, predominantly west winds keep much of the precipitation on the west side of the Continental Divide leaving Nederland, Black Hawk, Central City, Rollinsville, Jamestown, and Ward with little more than a few snow showers, cold temperatures, and plenty of wind. Storms like these favor the ski resorts in the central and northern Colorado Mountains, which is great news given that many of these same resorts struggled with warm temperatures and a lack of natural snow last year.

Also, with these storm tracks, we often see an area of low pressure form and rapidly intensify over eastern Colorado and the nearby Great Plains states.This lee side cyclogenisis (meaning that the storm is forming to east of the Continental Divide) often accentuates the downsloping west/northwesterly winds.  These winds, also known as Bora winds because they are strong and user in colder temperatures, further act to inhibit precipitation east of the Divide.

So on Saturday, while it may snow up to a foot in locations such as Winter Park, Nederland will only see a few snow showers, some strong and gusty winds, and chilly temperatures.

We continue to be well ahead of normal for snowfall this fall in Nederland.  We’ve had about 38 inches of snow so far this fall. Normally by the end of November, we have received only 18.9 inches. That is a pretty good start to winter during a year when we have been much drier than normal. We’ll see what December brings, but typically in El Nino winters, the really big snowstorms hold off until Spring. Stay warm!


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