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Marty’s Saturday Morning Forecast – Warm Before The Storm – 2/22/2020

Overview:  After a nice start to the weekend we're tracking another storm that will bring many areas wind, rain and snow. Next week starts chilly and we cannot rule out more snow at times for some areas before we finally start to warm up again late in the week.

Today:  The air overhead will be warm but the clouds will likely be thick at times today which will limit heating some. Most areas in eastern Colorado will still manage to warm into the 50s this afternoon with our local mountain areas and mountain valleys hovering in the 40s. For the plains along and south of the Arkansas River afternoon temperatures might reach the lower 60s for areas where the sun can break through the clouds for a bit.  Most areas will avoid real strong wind gusts today, but there will be breezy pockets, especially over and near the mountains.  As the next storm system approaches the state rain and snow will begin to spread over southwestern Colorado.

Tonight:  The next storm system will come at us in two parts. The leading wave will move over the state bringing an area of precipitation from southwest to northeast through the night. This part of the storm will be relatively warm so we expect a mixture of snow showers over the mountains and rain showers over the valleys and plains. While most of the snow tonight will probably fall over the mountains along and west of the Continental Divide, accumulations of wet snow will also be possible over the eastern mountains but the showery nature of the precipitation will make it difficult to know where accumulations of snow are most likely to occur. Where stronger snow showers do drift over the eastern mountains quick bursts of 1"- 3" of wet snow could accumulate possibly whitening or slushing up area roadways. Although some wet snow may also fall over the higher terrain along I-25 it'll be a bit tougher for the snow to overcome major roadways with the air remaining pretty warm through the night, but if the snow can fall heavily enough there could be some slushy areas and some white lawns by morning. Low temperatures will fall into the 20s and 30s across the area.

Sunday:  As the storm crosses over the mountains it will intensify. Part two of this storm will eventually feature more wind and colder air with the heaviest snow falling to the north and northwest of the center of this circulation. Some areas that had rain and snow through the night may notice that precipitation ends for a couple of hours early Sunday morning before picking up again on the back side of the storm. Snow early Sunday morning will initially be wet and confined to the higher terrain, but as the air cools during the day snowfall elevations will fall with all but the far eastern plains eventually receiving some snow.  Temperatures Sunday morning will range from the 20s over the mountains to the 40s over the plains with most areas experiencing falling temperatures through the day. 

Right now it is difficult to pinpoint where exactly the heaviest snow will fall with this storm as the track of its center of circulation and the timing of the intensification is still uncertain. Typically a storm like this will produce the heaviest snow and travel troubles over the Palmer Divide and/or the higher terrain to the south/southwest of Pueblo since it's colder for these areas and the terrain allows for accumulating snow to stick better and fall for a longer period of time. Significant accumulations of snow could occur over our local mountain areas too but the wind isn't usually as problematic for these areas in a storm like this. It is also possible that parts of the eastern plains of Colorado could receive significant accumulations of wind driven snow on the back side of this storm as at intensifies and heads into Kansas. Colorado Springs and Pueblo can receive a brief period of accumulating snow with a storm like this too, but the duration of heavier snow tends to be short as the northerly flow causes the "doughnut hole" to develop pretty quickly.  Best guess is where the heaviest snow falls to the northwest of the center of the circulation accumulations could easily exceed 6" on the higher terrain. For Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Canon City a general 1"- 4" of snow would appear most likely sometime Sunday morning into early Sunday afternoon.

Extended:  The storm should exit the area early Sunday evening with clearing through the night. We'll get a break early Monday before another quick moving wave races over Colorado Monday afternoon and evening. While most of the snow looks to fall over the ski resorts in northern and central Colorado with this wave it is at least possible that we'll get clipped with a quick burst of wind driven snow that could impact the Monday evening commute for some of us. If this wave misses us to the northeast we should still expect gusty wind and falling temperatures late Monday. Tuesday looks cold and we still cannot rule out at least some scattered snow showers at times. We'll need to track the western extent of another wave late Wednesday and Thursday but right now it looks like this will slide just to our east which would leave us potentially a bit windy but mainly dry. We should warm significantly by the end of the week into early next weekend.

Local Forecast / State Forecast / Video / Weather Video

Marty Venticinque

Marty is a weekend morning meteorologist for KRDO.