COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Let's get this out of the way, first: Yes, Colorado Springs is going to get snow this weekend, and probably a lot of it.
But where to begin? What message to convey? How do I share accurate forecast information with so many uncertainties? I believe we first have to understand that meteorology is an imperfect science. We've come a long way from the days of drawing isobar maps by hand, but there's still a great deal of work to be done before a weather forecast can be less of a prediction, and more of an inevitability.
To answer my first question, let's begin with the facts. A strong low-pressure system is currently moving south along the northern coast of California. Over the next two days, it will gradually veer east towards Colorado, bringing some areas of the state heavy snowfall and strong winds Friday night through Sunday.
This is where the forecasting starts. The exact path of this system is uncertain. Over the last few days, model runs have been pushing the center of the low further north, now into southeast Colorado. A few days ago, the center of circulation was expected in northern New Mexico. The current trend now favors northern Colorado from the Palmer Divide into southeastern Wyoming to receive the highest snowfall totals.
Now, it is still likely areas of central/southern Colorado will get heavy snow, but probably not the record-shattering totals social media has blown up with the past few days.
Now to my second question, I want to convey there are many unknowns.
Look at the difference between the same forecast model on Monday versus now, and you'll see how the brunt of the storm has shifted north. (Tap to slide between the two photos). Keep in mind this is one forecast model, we have a plethora of models showing different solutions. This is just one example and shouldn't be taken as what's going to happen.
It's possible by Thursday, the track of the storm will move again. That would naturally change the meat and potatoes of the forecast. That's why I've left out projected snow accumulation numbers from this article.
All we can do is stay updated, stay patient, and try to plan ahead as much as possible. By this time Thursday, I will be coming out with a snow accumulation forecast. Which will be just that, a forecast.
One thing that is certain is that travel conditions will be impacted and in some cases severely, depending on your specific itinerary.
Click HERE for an interactive radar.
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