Weather - Forecast

May 11, 2014 11:15 AM by John Dissauer

Hours Away From Start of Mother's Day Storm

A cold front is dropping south through southern Colorado today.  This is going to cause temperatures to fall once the front passes.  Ahead of the front, temperatures will quickly rise today.  Some areas of southeast Colorado could approach 80° this afternoon prior to the front's passage.

Place like Colorado Springs and Woodland Park will only see temperatures going up 2° or 3° before stalling and slowly falling through the afternoon.

Generally, high temperatures will top out in the 40°s to 80° today.  (Colorado Springs: 46° | Pueblo: 57°)

TIMING THE MOISTURE

Moisture will begin to move in from the west during the morning hours.  I'm expecting to see snow moving in to the southern central mountains by mid-morning.  Rain/snow should start to arrive in Fremont and Teller counties between 10am-11am.  Rain/snow should start to arrive in the Colorado Springs area around noon.  Rain will start to arrive in Pueblo county late morning/early afternoon.

Initially, in lower elevations the precipitation will start out as rain.  In El Paso County, it will quickly change over to snow this afternoon.  In Pueblo County, excluding higher elevations of the Wet Moutains, I am expecting the precipitation to stay as rain through the evening.

I think snow will begin to intensify between 5pm and 10pm/11pm in northern/northwestern El Paso and Teller counties.

Overnight as temperatures drop, rain could change over to snow for areas around Pueblo and south.

Snow should come to an end by late Monday morning.

MEASURING SNOW

What everyone wants to know, "How much snow am I going to get?"  The good news is that computer models are beginning to come in to agreement as to how much we could see.  There is still a spread amongst the data but it is not as widespread as it was yesterday, which is to be expected.

Here is a look at how much I think we will see through noon Monday.

- Colorado Springs: 2"-6"
- Northern/Northwestern El Paso County: 6"-10"
- Fremont County: 1"-6" with 6"-10" in higher elevations
- Monument Hill: 9"-14"
- Pueblo: Up to 1/2"
- Teller County: 8"-14 with localized amounts up to 18"

WINDS INCREASING

Data suggests winds will begin to increase across the area throughout the day.  By late afternoon and in to the evening, winds could gust to 40mph at times.  Here is a look at what our latest high-resolution computer model is projecting for wind gusts in/around the Colorado Springs area this evening.

Combined with blowing snow, the visibility will likely drop.

CONCERNS

- Wet heavy snow falling on trees that have leaves will cause branches to sag from the weight of the snow.  There is a chance for power outages to occur later this evening through early Monday morning.

- With winds increasing later this afternoon and evening and snow intensity to pick up, I am starting to think we could end up with blizzard conditions across parts of northern El Paso and Teller counties this evening.  By definition, blizzard conditions are met when winds gust 35mph for three consecutive hours and the visibility needs to be 1/4 mile or less for three consecutive hours.

- If you plan to travel between Colorado Springs and Denver. or vice versa, this afternoon or later tonight you might want to reconsider.  Travel conditions could be treacherous along I-25 with strong winds and blowing snow. 

FREEZE WARNING

The National Weather Service has issed a Freeze Warning for the areas shaded in purple. (see right image)  The warning is in effect from 9pm Sunday through 8am Monday.  Temperatures are expected to drop to the 20°s and lower 30°s by Monday morning.  If you have vegetation that does not handle cold well, be sure to take appropriate actions to keep the plants warm.  - Meteorologist John Dissauer

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