ForecastBrief Cooldown For Northern and Eastern CO; Warmth Returns; Tropical Remnants Next WeekA decent shot of cold air for the Front Range kicks the weekend off, but warm temperatures quickly return. Residual moisture from Tropical Storm Kay impacts western Colorado next week.

Published Fri Sep 9, 2022 - 4:14pm MST • Updated Tue Sep 27, 2022 - 4:54pm

Authors

  • Thomas Horner

Summary

  • A cold front is impacting northern and eastern Colorado today, with even colder air arriving tonight and into Saturday.
  • Temperatures will be significantly colder in the Front Range foothills and plains compared to most of the mountains.
  • The Front Range foothills and plains should pick up some widespread light to moderate precipitation from tonight until Saturday afternoon.
  • Limited amounts of moisture will reach the mountains.
  • Warm again by Monday.
  • Mostly dry in the mountains until Tuesday, when residual moisture from Tropical Storm Kay starts to advect into Colorado from the west. This likely sticks around through Thursday.
  • Next weekend is uncertain, but likely some thunderstorm concerns.

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Forecast Discussion

A cold front swept down the Front Range last night and ended up a record-breaking heat wave for the region. In some spots, temperatures today are over 30-40 degrees colder than yesterday's temperatures.

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The show is just getting started as even colder air is working its way into the state from the northeast. Tomorrow's high temperatures could barely squeak into the low 50s in Denver, depending on cloud cover. In general, temperatures to the east of the Divide will be in the 30s (foothills) and 40s (plains) for most of the day.

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This cold air will be locked up to the east of the Divide -- once you get west of the tunnels and into the central and southern mountain ranges, it will be much more like a late summer's day!

For perspective, the Euro model has Saturday's high temperature for Monarch Pass (elevation 11,300ft.) as 65 degrees, vs. 55 degrees for Denver (elevation 5,280ft.). Grand Lake and Lake Dillon will likely see temperatures in the 70s -- you could leave the chilly, cloudy Front Range and head up to the mountains for pleasant temperatures and sunshine!

By 12am Saturday, the northeasterly upslope should be deepen enough to kick off widespread precipitation (mostly light) -- this wont be deep enough to really reach the mountains of the Divide but it will keep the foothills and I-25 corridor socked in until Saturday afternoon, at least north of Castle Rock.

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Still, wont rule out that mountains near/east of the Divide wont get at least a bit of a splash from this event. Our model shows that a couple inches of snow is possible for Mt. Bierstadt by Saturday evening, with the rain/snow level at about 12,000ft.

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But like we said, once you get further west of the Divide, it should be sunny and warm. The warmest temperatures look to be in the San Juans -- in fact, they have some thunderstorm concerns as the right entrance region of the jet should briefly transport some moisture from Tropical Storm Kay into through southern Colorado.

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After Saturday, warmer dry air quickly returns to the region. In fact, Denver could break into the low 90s on Tuesday. Otherwise, temperatures on the plains look to be solidly in the 80s from Monday to Thursday.

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From Tuesday to Thursday, residual moisture from Tropical Storm Kay will be transported through Colorado. This will bring elevated thunderstorm activity to the high country and keep things cooler up there -- but not cold enough for snow except maybe at the highest elevations. The worst days look to be Wednesday and Thursday.

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East of the Divide, not much of an impact initially, but could get some decent afternoon thunderstorm coverage on Thursday and Friday.

By next weekend, too much uncertainty for specifics, but ensembles are showing a decent chance for isolated afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains and temperatures close to average.

Authors

Thomas Horner

Thomas is an endurance athlete and ski mountaineer based out of Golden, Colorado. His background is in software engineering, meteorology, and cartography, and the rest of his free time is devoted to playing in heavy metal bands.

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