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Snow Blog: Wet spring-like storm coming Thursday

Snow and rain for the Front Range Thursday as spring-like storm system moves in from California

DENVER — Well you may have heard that March is Denver's snowiest month with an average of 11.3 inches of snow. That mark has only been topped twice in the last seven years though. Over the past 15 years, the winter snow trend has been changing quite a bit.

Using the data from the Denver/Stapleton station, March is the third snowiest month behind December and February as the new number 1.   

This snow blog watches snow chances develop in the computer forecast models. 

Mar. 4 (Thursday)

The first wet, sloppy, spring-like storm of the season is coming to the Front Range on Thursday. It is forming off the coast of southern California and will be pinned to the south by high pressure to the north. 

This type of system has a great upside to it because it has good moisture content and can produce some very heavy snowfall with big flakes. The downside is that snow accumulation is not very impressive.

FORECAST: Thursday just a blip in an otherwise near-perfect Colorado forecast

The precipitation moves into southwestern Colorado first, probably late Wednesday night. Look for Wolf Creek Pass to do well with 6-12" of snow. Winter weather advisories have been posted for parts of the San Juan mountains.  

It does not include the Western Slope towns but they could get 1-4 inches of snow in places like Pagosa, Durango, and even Montrose. Models are showing 5-6 inches in Telluride.  

Credit: KUSA

The storm progresses across the state quickly and should reach the Front Range before sunrise Thursday, but it will take the precipitation a while to handle the dry air. Rain, snow, and mixed showers will gradually fill around the Denver metro area before noon. 

The timing of the best precipitation is not good for snow accumulation as that will come during the bulk of daytime heating from noon to 6pm. Temperatures could even reach into the mid 40's during that time, so you can see why snow will have a hard time accumulating. 

There could be brief accumulation though with periods of very heavy snow which could happen in a few areas but not all areas. Since DIA gets a measurement right at 5pm, I'm thinking there will be a little snow on the pad at that time. If there is, it will likely be less than an inch. 

Credit: KUSA

Once the sun goes down, snow accumulation will become more likely. And those very heavy snowfall rates will still be possible. 

Areas in the higher suburbs, the foothills, and the Palmer Divide will have a better chance at getting some accumulation. Models are even showing two or three inches in spots. 

A winter weather advisory has been posted for parts of the Palmer Divide, and the El Paso and Teller County foothills because of the potential for close to 6 inches of snow. Isolated spots are showing even more than than in some computer models. 

The day will be full of snow and rain chances from sun up to sun down, but probably with little impact to most of us in the Denver area. The storm should exit the region sometime very early Friday morning like 1 or 2am. 



Mar. 7 (Sunday)

This very small and fast moving system is still being shown in the modeling for Sunday, but with only some light mountain impacts.

1-2" of snow is being shown for the northern mountains on Sunday morning with maybe a sprinkle of rain on some parts of the Front Range but that is not likely. 



Mar. 9-10 (Tue-Wed)

Models are then showing an active period starting next Tuesday. The first system could bring a decent spread of snowfall across the mountains. Nothing major, but a few spots are showing the potential for about 10"

Not much impact is showing for the Front Range with snow accumulation, but recent model runs are showing enough snow in the Denver area for an inch or two of accumulation.

The same situation is being shown for the northeast plains.



Mar. 11-12 

Then another storm is showing up right after that one. This storm is also showing consistent potential for some mountain snow, but impacts to the Front Range have not been too consistent.  


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