If you have been in and around Ned or along the Peak to Peak Highway over the past few days, you’ve enjoyed the spectacular golden, orange, and red splendor of the Apsen. They are nearing peak color in many Foothills locations. The question is whether or not this color will last long enough for the weekend leaf-peepers to view.
Mild and dry conditions prevailed over the region on Wednesday although a few light showers did develop along and near the Continental Divide. However, big changes are coming later this week and this weekend. A deep storm system in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere currently off of the Oregon coast will slowly track into the Great Basin and then over Northern Colorado over the next several days. The biggest impact on Ned’s weather with this system will likely be wind on Thursday and Friday as a cold front slowly approaches from the west. Strong south to southwesterly winds are likely on Thursday afternoon and evening. While a few isolated showers may be possible, especially Thursday evening, most of the precipitation will stay west of the Divide. The storm’s track does not support much precipitation east of the Divide. The winds will be strongest at higher elevations, possibly gusting up to 40 mph Thursday night and Friday morning. This could easily strip the Aspen of their golden leaves, especially along the Peak to Peak Highway.
The cold front will pass through later in the day on Friday. Behind it colder air will settle in across northeastern Colorado and remain with us into the beginning of next week. There are some differences in the forecast models with regard to how cold it will get, but temperatures in the upper 20s are possible Sunday morning, especially in the normally cooler locations along the North Boulder Creek.