Colorado Weather Forecast #180: Mar. 26, 2022 - Mar. 31, 2022

Warmest weekend in awhile, two back to back storms next week starting early Tuesday.

This forecast is no longer valid.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

Updated Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:00pm MST | Published Fri Mar 25, 2022

By Thomas Horner

7-Day Snow Planner (Through April 1)

Northern Mountains

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

6am New Snow

0"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0-1"

Tue

1-7"

Wed

0-2"

Thu

0-3"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

0%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

28%

Wed

2%

Thu

12%

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"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0-1"

Tue

2-7"

Wed

0-3"

Thu

0-5"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

0%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

35%

Wed

5%

Thu

15%

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"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0-2"

Tue

0-6"

Wed

0-2"

Thu

0-4"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

0%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

1%

Tue

15%

Wed

2%

Thu

8%

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

0-3"

Tue

1-6"

Wed

0-3"

Thu

0-4"

Fri

6am Powder Potential

0%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

7%

Tue

30%

Wed

5%

Thu

16%

Fri

Denver Metro

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

6am New Snow

0"

Sat

0"

Sun

0"

Mon

0"

Tue

0"

Wed

0"

Thu

0"

Fri

6am Snow Accum. Chance

0%

Sat

0%

Sun

0%

Mon

0%

Tue

44%

Wed

28%

Thu

52%

Fri

Summary

  • Warmest temperatures in months this weekend, almost 80 in Denver.
  • Gusty along and east of the Divide this weekend.
  • Perhaps a few weak cells over parts of northern Colorado this weekend, not likely though.
  • Next storm from Tuesday AM to Wednesday PM.
  • Another storm follows soon after, from Thursday onwards, details are scarce.

Current Conditions

Satellite imagery shows clear skies across much of the western United States as a ridge of high pressure builds over the region.

(via College of DuPage)
(via College of DuPage)

Colorado’s snowpack is just shy of average as we enter the last few weeks before “average” peak snowpack.

(via NRCS)
(via NRCS)

According to a SWANN analysis, the biggest snow deficits look to be along the Continental Divide (including parts of the Front Range, most of the Sawatch, and the Sangres), in the Park Range, parts of the Elk Mountans, and the Tenmile/Mosquito Ranges.

The Weekend

Ridging overhead means the weather will be positively spring-like this weekend with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures, likely the warmest temperatures in months. Highs in parts of Denver look to get into the upper 70s on both Saturday and Sunday.

As warm air advects into Colorado for the weekend, we should see some strong gusts along/near the Divide tonight and into Saturday. These gusts should make it down into the foothills and parts of the Front Range. Sunday wont be as windy, but still some gusty conditions near the Divide.

Despite the high pressure, there looks to be decent moisture in place over Colorado for the weekend. We could see just enough instability to produce weak convective cells. Small, isolated showers with minor lightning activity over parts of the Colorado high country and northeast Colorado are not out of the question, particularly on Sunday. However, thunderstorm chances on the Blend remain below 5% across Colorado on both days.

Storm: Tuesday AM to Wednesday PM

For next week, we have two back to back systems:

(via WeatherBell)
(via WeatherBell)

The first storm system looks to barrel into the western United States early next week. In western Colorado, snow and rain chances should increase quite a bit early Tuesday morning and taper off into Wednesday.

Southwest flow will initially impact the state from midnight on Tuesday to around noon, with northwest flow impacting the northern Colorado mountains by Tuesday afternoon. This means Tuesday morning offers powder potential at places like Wolf Creek and Silverton, while Wednesday morning will be the powder day in the central and northern mountains.

Though there is still some significant uncertainty in the track and intensity of the system, it’s starting to look like a pretty safe bet that most ski areas will see at least a decent refresher by Wednesday afternoon. The Blend still hasn’t warmed up to the 7-14” totals being shown in some weather models, but it’s a nice conservative baseline especially as forecasted snow totals continue to swing from run to run:

The bigger question is Denver and the Front Range. From Tuesday morning to Tuesday afternoon, banded precipitation and convective cells (with some lightning) should make it over the Divide and onto the Plains, but temperatures will still be fairly warm.

The rain/snow level looks to be around 8,000ft. during much of Tuesday and wont start dropping until a rather weak cold front pushes down the Front Range on Tuesday evening. This will get an upslope going, but temperatures may not be cold enough to support snow in the urban corridor until after midnight, which is when we really start to run out of moisture.

There will be a sharp gradient of snow totals, from perhaps 6”+ for parts of the higher elevation foothills (if this system arrives with a favorable track – no guarantee there), down to a few inches for the lower elevation foothills, and very little snow for the I-25 corridor (an inch or two at most, but much of it would melt when it hits the ground).

Like we said, there is still enough disagreement about the track of this system to not want to go into too much detail. We’ll see how model guidance converges as we get into the weekend. It’s possible this could be a more exciting storm for the Front Range, but that does not look like the most likely solution.

Storm: Thursday Onwards

Another wave arrives on Thursday morning and kicks flow back more westerly and southerly for a bit. Some models have this a slow-moving closed low wandering directly over Colorado while other models have a more progressive open wave.

This is a huge difference in terms of snow implications for the state, particularly for the Front Range. However, still looking like a rather safe bet that powder is on the menu for Friday and even Saturday depending on how fast the wave lifts out of the region.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Don’t know about you, but spring skiing is wonderful – and we’re approaching open season on big couloirs!

--

More frequent updates on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @highpointwx


💙 Supported By 💙

  • Kim H.
  • Briana K.
  • Kevin M.
  • Cullen O.
  • Tal W.

We love doing this and making our work available for free! But it does take a ton of time to put these forecasts together, develop our custom graphics, and keep our servers running. Consider throwing some beer or coffee money our way: Support us on Patreon!


Shout out to our friends: Weather5280, Seth's Weather Report