Colorado Weather Forecast #165: Feb. 10, 2022 - Feb. 18, 2022

Another weak storm on Friday, mostly in northern Colorado. Warm from Sunday to Tuesday. Another storm on Wednesday to Friday will be stronger, and likely have the strongest impacts in the Front Range, but the details are still highly uncertain.

This forecast is no longer valid. Please return to our list of forecast articles to find more recent posts.

Updated Thu Feb 10, 2022 5:00pm MST | Published Thu Feb 10, 2022

By Thomas Horner

7-Day Snow Planner (Through Feb. 18)

Northern Mountains

Park Range and N Front Range: Steamboat, Buffalo Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass, Bluebird, RMNP, IPW, Cameron Pass

6am New Snow

0-7"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0"

Tue

0-4"

Wed

1-7"

Thu

0-1"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

21%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

12%

Wed

25%

Thu

2%

Fri

I-70 Corridor

Front Range, Gore Range, etc.: Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, Jones Pass, Loveland, A-Basin, Keystone, Breck, Copper, Vail Pass, Vail, Beaver Creek

6am New Snow

0-8"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0"

Tue

0-4"

Wed

1-8"

Thu

0-2"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

16%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

13%

Wed

24%

Thu

7%

Fri

Central Mountains

Elk Mountains, Sawatch Range, Grand Mesa, West Elks: Aspen Resorts, Crested Butte, Powderhorn, Sunlight, Kebler Pass, Independence Pass, Cottonwood Pass, Monarch

6am New Snow

0-1"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0"

Tue

0-3"

Wed

0-6"

Thu

0-2"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

1%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

8%

Wed

16%

Thu

6%

Fri

Southern Mountains

San Juans: Telluride, Red Mountain Pass, Silverton, Coal Bank Pass, Purgatory, Wolf Creek

6am New Snow

0"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0"

Tue

0-3"

Wed

1-6"

Thu

0-4"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

0%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

10%

Wed

23%

Thu

13%

Fri

Denver Metro

Denver and surrounding suburbs: Lakewood, Westminster, Aurora, Highlands Ranch

6am New Snow

1-2"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0"

Tue

0"

Wed

0-2"

Thu

0-1"

Fri

6am Snow Accum. Chance

78%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

36%

Wed

71%

Thu

49%

Fri

Forecast Discussion

Hello everyone. Let’s talk about our two upcoming storms.

Storm: Friday Afternoon to Friday Night

A shortwave is swinging through the region:

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

This will put some weak large-scale lift overhead (thanks to the jet) and advect modest moisture into the state – so a quick hitting, weaker event.

As a jet max moves overhead, winds along the Divide will be substantial (the HRRR model has gusts of 90mph), and some of these gusty conditions will make it down to the west metro area.

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

A cold front will push down the Front Range late tonight / early Friday morning.

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

This will get a weak upslope going – however, with strong northwest flow aloft, upslope snow east of the Divide will mostly be limited to the lower elevations of the foothills. In fact, dynamics could be weak enough where jet-induced banding would be the only real driver of snowfall, per the HRRR’s guidance:

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

The above looks like a worst case scenario – though the CAIC WRF (which has been one of the better-performing models this season) generally agrees with the above. Global models look more bullish. Here’s the Blend:

All things considered, a general forecast of Trace to 5” of snow from along I-70 and north would probably verify at near 100%.

The only consistent bullseyes have been near Cameron Pass and along the Divide down to Berthoud Pass. For these areas, we could be as bold as to forecast 2-6”.

We also think parts of the foothills will get 2-5”, but most of the Front Range is looking at a 0-2” forecast, with 0” the most likely scenario for Fort Collins and Colorado Springs (due to a northerly upslope component) and T-2” a more likely scenario for the Denver metro area.

Snow will fall along the I-25 corridor well into New Mexico, with another potential bullseye being the east of the Sangres, near the Spanish Peaks.

Elsewhere in Colorado, 0-2” for the central mountains (most likely 0”) and 0-1” for the southern mountains (excluding the Sangres).

Warm Again: Sunday to Tuesday

By Sunday, temperatures will return to above-average until another cold front on Wednesday.

Storm: Wednesday to Thursday

Models are starting to come into some level agreement about the set up of next week’s storm. Consensus is starting to build about a cutoff low tracking over the desert southwest. Unfortunately, that consensus is also around the fact that it will likely be a little too far south to strongly impact Colorado, and also that flow aloft will be rather messy which will further diminish the amount of snow that will fall in our region.

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

At face value, this is the kind of setup that would potentially hammer the San Juans (especially near Wolf Creek), but the complex flow pattern on various models actually suggests that very dry air could be entrained in flow over that region, resulting in minimal snow accumulations. Guidance is still all over the board in regard to that potential, and the Blend shows nice moist southwesterly flow as something that’s still in the cards – but we’re skeptical.

What is more of a certainty is another upslope snow storm for the Front Range, with Eldora standing a decent chance of coming away with the best final totals in the state. The Sangres should also do pretty well (Taos could beat out any Colorado resort again), and there is decent support for at least some productive activity in northern Colorado thanks to northwest flow.

Still too early to really talk totals – there are still some scenarios for heavier snowfall in the Front Range, and lots of details to be worked out due to the potentially messy flow accompanying this system. The animation above looked pretty tidy thanks to the averaging across ensemble members, but the reality looks more complicated…

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

…with many models handling the important details quite differently still.

Right now, we’re watching to see how robust northwest flow will be (powder day for northern Colorado) and whether southwest flow will be as dry as some model runs are currently advertising. The point is – not currently seeing enough support to guarantee any serious powder days with this storm, but it seems likely we’ll issue the potential for powder in some regions of Colorado in our next forecast this weekend. Otherwise, with the current data, our forecast for most areas is “well, zero to twelve inches or something lol.”

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