It is that time of year again. Spring in the Rockies can, and usually does, bring the kind of topsy turvy weather, marked by extremes in temperature and precipitation, that is only fitting for a land of big skies and even bigger mountains like ours. In the Front Range foothills it is not uncommon for a spring day with temps in the 60s to be followed by a foot of snow and sub freezing temps. A quick moving storm will briefly turn the clock back to winter across northeastern Colorado on Friday, bringing rain, snow, wind, and cold to our area. Just in time for the Rockies Opening Day at Coors Field.
Because the winds will be predominantly from the west during this storm event, the bulk of the precipitation will fall along and to the west of the Continental Divide. Areas in the Front Range foothills, including Nederland – places to the east of the Continental Divide – will see diminished precipitation amounts due to the drying effects of the downsloping westerly winds. However, it does appear that there will be a brief period of enhanced precipitation in the foothills and adjacent plains as a cold front pushes southward across northeastern Colorado. This front should be passing through our neck of the woods between 10 AM and noon. At that time, the downsloping westerly winds will be disrupted as the winds in the low levels of the atmosphere switch around from the east for several hours ushering cold moist air and a period of light to moderate snow.
In Ned, the ground is warm, and the bulk of the precipitation will fall during the day. This should help to limit accumulations to grassy surfaces. Roads should stay primarily wet, but icy areas are possible towards evening when temps will be dropping back into the low to mid 20s.
Accumulations will range from 1 to 3 inches in Nederland with higher amounts closer to the Continental Divide. Being Spring and given that there is a lot of warm air in the mid levels of the atmosphere, I would expect the snow to be heavy and wet.
The moisture will be welcome as we continue to run behind normal in snowfall. This shot of cold will be short-lived. Spring returns next week!