The latest models are showing a significant snowstorm hitting major metropolitan areas of Colorado, including Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins.
This storm is extremely unique due to its unusual track. Rather than slamming into the western flank of the Colorado Rockies, the storm is separating from the jet stream and moving south, forming something known as a cutoff low. The storm will then proceed southwest, edging even south of the mountains almost entirely. The storm will then undergo eastern boundary intensification, where the northwest flank of it will deliver serious energy to Denver, Boulder, and the mountains of the Front Range.
Models indicate the storm arriving in Boulder and Denver early on the morning of Saturday, March 13. Expect light to moderate snow throughout the day. Snowfall rates will peak from 5PM on Saturday to 5AM on Monday. Totals in Boulder may exceed 30 inches during that period. Rates on the 14th will slow and may bring up to 20 additional inches, rounding the storm total out to 50 inches. The timing of snowfall in Denver will be similar, although totals will be slightly less, between 20 and 25 inches.
A combination of GFS, ECMWF, and NCEP data that I assembled is putting totals for Boulder between 41 and 62 inches (51″ mean) and totals for Denver between 19 and 28 inches (24″ mean). Both of these totals seem a bit high to me, but I’m about 70% certain that final totals will be between those values. We’ll see how things shake out; HODL to the models!
Estes Park, CO, near RMNP will get hammered with between 58 and 87 inches over the weekend (72″ mean). Again, this number seems a bit high, and I have a fairly high degree of uncertainty at 65%. We’ll see how things shake out, this will be a fun one to watch!