Updated Fri May 27, 2022 11:30am MST | Published Fri May 27, 2022
For people trying to get to the mountains this weekend and avoid the worst of the weather, we recommend the San Juans, Sangres, and southern Sawatch. Conversely, the Park Range, Flat Tops, northern Front Range, and Elk Mountains are progged to pick up the most rain and snow.
- Another system impacts Colorado this weekend, bringing chillier weather and widespread precipitation chances to central and northern Colorado from Saturday PM to Monday.
- Saturday morning to afternoon should be okay, but moisture will be streaming into western Colorado.
- Cold front pushes into Colorado by noon on Sunday, precipitation becomes widespread as the snow level drops from 11,000ft+ to 8,000ft.
- Southern Colorado has lower precipitation chances, but gusty conditions.
- Precipitation is a little less widespread on Monday, northern Colorado is favored for rain and snow in the mountains.
- Backdoor cold front on Tuesday-ish for the Front Range, with even colder temperatures.
- Upslope precipitation likely, with snow above 7,000ft. Another big snow storm for the Front Range high country is not out of the question.
- Warm and dry after Wednesday and likely into the following weekend.
Another stormy weekend is on tap (especially Sunday and Monday) as a closed low drops into our region.
Moisture will arrive in Colorado later on Saturday. This should be just early enough to bump up chances for scattered showers in the Colorado high country that afternoon, but significant lightning activity looks to be mostly confined to northwest Colorado. Some isolated strong thunderstorms are also possible in the high plains of northern Colorado.
The snow level into Sunday is at 11,000ft. and higher, so generally most areas will see rain.
Precipitation becomes more widespread into the early AM hours of Sunday as better lift and moisture makes its way into the state.
A cold front pushes through the mountains and southwards down the Front Range by noon on Sunday. The chilliest air will initially be locked up to the west of the Divide.
This would actually make for some pleasant conditions on the Western Slope during the day on Sunday (60s and 70s), but pretty chilly up in the high country (40s and 50s in the valleys, 30s and 40s in the mountains with hard overnight freezes). Also pretty nice along the urban corridor, with temperatures in the 70s. However, these temperatures come with a heavy dose of clouds and precipitation chances.
Sunday looks to feature widespread precipitation, particularly in the afternoon for the central and northern mountains. Sunday and Monday could be a bit of a chilly washout in some of these mountain ranges. In southern Colorado, precipitation looks to be less widespread, but gusty conditions look prevalent across the higher terrain.
By Monday morning the rain/snow level could drop as low as 8,000ft. as colder air continues to work its way into the state. Highs on Monday will be the coldest of the week for areas west of the Divide, with some areas near and above treeline struggling to get above freezing. With less moisture, precipitation won’t be as widespread as Sunday, but northern Colorado remains favored for scattered snow and rain showers. It will also be quite gusty along the Divide.
On Tuesday, a backdoor cold front looks to push down the Front Range, bringing even colder temperatures and upslope precipitation chances. For parts of the I-25 corridor, we may not see temperatures above the 60s from Monday to Wednesday. However, the snow level doesn’t look to drop below 7,000ft, so any upslope precipitation will be as rain for areas below the foothills. Areas west of the Divide wont see much of an impact from this.
Right now, there is some strong disagreement about snow totals from this upslope event, but the latest deterministic model runs have another chance of double digit totals in the Front Range mountains and higher elevations of the foothills. We can be somewhat confident of a 3-7” event in the mountains near the Divide at this point, and we’ll keep an eye on models and ensembles to see if odds start looking better. Here’s an optimistic scenario from the Euro:
This system should be quite impactful for the northwestern mountains of Wyoming, which have feet of snow in the forecast.
After Tuesday night, precipitation chances in the Front Range start to taper off as upper level ridging returns to the western United States. Colorado will experience warm and dry conditions into the following weekend. Despite that stretch of drier weather, the pattern through next weekend should still be an overall net gain for parts of drought-stricken Colorado.