Thursday featured cold temperatures, clouds, and periods of light snow in the northeastern Colorado Front Range Foothills. Temperatures hovered in the low teens for much of day in Nederland before dropping back into the single digits by evening. Many locations ended up with 1-2 inches of very light, very dry snowfall by evening. Shallow easterly upslope winds combined with weak lift in the mid levels of the atmosphere and a temperature profile conducive to snow growth resulted in light bands of snow focused primarily in the mid to upper elevations in the foothills. It was just enough to slicken roads in Boulder Canyon and make it feel like late December in the Rockies.
The weather pattern over the last few days of 2018 will be complicated. Through Friday, Nederland will be sandwiched between a trough of low pressure departing to the east and an upper level low settling southward into the Four Corners region. This will keep winds light from the north to northeast east of the Continental Divide into Friday evening. Periods of light snow and flurries will also likely continue in Ward, Nederland, Eldora, and Rollinsville, but accumulations should be light. Temperatures will remain cold with highs only in the mid teens.
On Saturday, the trough in the west is expected to settle into southern Arizona and New Mexico and weaken. This should result in height rises over Colorado which will translate into slightly warmer temperatures and a clearing sky. The next player in our weather will be a strong disturbance in the Pacific Northwest which will dive southeastward into the Great Basin later Sunday and Monday. This is where things get complicated. Just how exactly this storm system interacts with the departing low in Arizona and New Mexico will determine Nederland’s weather Sunday Night into New Years Eve. The potential exists for snow along and east of the Continental Divide on Monday and Monday evening, but the forecast models are all over the “map” with this system. Also, the subtle interactions between storm systems in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere are very difficult to predict even three days out.
Sooooo, for now suffice it to say that it will get very cold New Years Eve, and there is the possibility of accumulating snow.
Stay tuned for more details. I’m currently furloughed from my job. Thus, I have more time to commit to this blog.