Storm Coming for Front Range, but Could Once Again Spare Boulder County
A storm is expected to move through Colorado Wedneday, but Boulder County could once again dodge the worst of the wind and snow even as blizzard warnings have been issued for other Front Range counties.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued a blizzard warning for Denver and other parts of the Front Range and eastern Colorado, but Boulder County at this time is only under a winter storm warning starting at noon today.
Boulder County also missed the worst of the last big storm to come through Colorado, the much-discussed “bomb cyclone” in mid-March. Boulder saw some high winds but only about 3 inches of snow fell in Boulder and Longmont, with up to 5 inches in eastern Boulder County.
Bob Kleyla with the National Weather Service said while that storm came up from the south, Wednesday’s storm is coming from the northwest and will move southeast through the state, intensifying primarily in the southeastern plains.
“This system won’t be quite as intense as what we saw back in March,” Kleyla said.
While March’s storm saw school and government closures, no such closures have yet been announced for this storm.
Kleyla said the forecast called for rain to turn to snow sometime this afternoon, with 4 to 8 inches of accumulation expected. Winds are expected to be 15 to 25 mph in Boulder, with speeds increasing to 20 to 30 mph in the eastern parts of the county.
“The winds in Boulder aren’t going to meet the criteria for blizzard conditions,” Kleyla said. “As for the snowfall, it could end up being similar to what happened last time.”
But Kleyla said the air in this storm is colder than the March storm, which means the rain will turn to snow much more quickly. Temperatures are expected to go from 70s on Tuesday afternoon to a high of only 47 Wednesday and an overnight low of 25.
The drop in temperatures means that, even with the ground warm after the sunny skies over the past week, it could be an icy evening commute.
“Any time after probably 5 (p.m.) we could see the roads start to ice up,” Kleyla said. “The snow around Boulder will probably end sometime during the evening, but temperatures will be cold enough that there is definitely some threat for icy roads Thursday morning before it warms up enough to melt off the ice.”
Thursday’s forecast calls for a high of 43 and an overnight low of 24, with a 20% chance of snow and winds still expected to be 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as strong as 28 mph.
Highs are expected to remain in the 40s until Sunday, when temperatures will jump into the 60s.
Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/mitchellbyars