This will be one of the most complex forecasts of the year. Uncertainty remains high in just how much snow will fall today and tonight, so be sure to follow along this evening for more forecast updates.
A large trough of low pressure has driven southwest jet stream flow PACKED with Pacific Ocean moisture into western Colorado. Snow started falling last night in the high country with 1 to 2 feet possible for the San Juan range through Thursday afternoon!
Locally, we are looking at a warm day with rain turning to snow in the afternoon. Rain will start falling in the Pikes Peak Region (Teller and El Paso Counties) as soon as 1 to 2 pm today. Rain will turn to snow first in the higher elevations of Teller and El Paso County. Woodland Park could see snow between 2 to 3 pm whereas Monument may be between 3 to 4 pm. Colorado Springs should see rain turn to snow from the north to south ends of town generally sometime between 4 to 6 pm. Pueblo and Canon City will likely not see rain change to snow until after 6 pm when the cold front travels across Highway 50.
This could be a high-impact event for the evening commute between the Pikes Peak Region, Denver, and east along Highway 50 to Limon. Slick roads with slush and snow could turn icy overnight as temperatures fall to freezing. Low visibility during the peak evening commute will only add to the driving danger.
City of Colorado Springs planners for snow plow crews are being cautious about treating the roads as pre-treating with de-icer in rainy conditions means the product will wash away and be ineffective.
Crews are ready to shift no matter the conditions, especially with a stronger storm impact expected to the northwestern parts of the city.
Upslope easterly winds tonight could lead to off-and-on flurries and light snow showers along the I-25 corridor and eastern mountain slopes through Thursday morning. Temperatures will fall into the 20s tonight for most of the plains, meaning that untreated roadways could become icy and slick through tomorrow morning.
Colorado Springs forecast: High: 55; Low: 24. Cloudy and actually quite warm ahead of an afternoon cold front with highs likely hitting the low to mid-50s by 2 pm. Rain will start falling in Colorado Springs by the mid-afternoon with a snow change over through the evening commute. Across the north half of town, rain could turn to snow by 4 to 5 pm, but the south half of town may not be until 5 to 6 pm. Snow totals could range wildly over the city with 1 to 3 inches around downtown and 3 to 6 inches around Briaragte and Northgate. Generally, snow totals are highest to the north with this storm, so Monument and Gleneagle should see substantially more snow than downtown or Fountain. Ice could be an issue overnight as road temperatures eventually tumble below freezing through Thursday morning.
Pueblo forecast: High: 60; Low: 27. Cloudy and really warm today before a cold front brings an overnight mix of rain and snow. Rain will fall late today and eventually turn to snow after 6 or 7 pm tonight. There will be considerable snow melting on the pavement since actual road temperatures may stay above zero through midnight. Snow totals will be mostly confined to the grass and generally range from a dusting to 2 inches. Temperatures will fall below zero by Thursday morning, and that could eventually mean some ice forms on the untreated pavement.
Canon City forecast: High: 57; Low: 29. Cloudy, warm, and windy with rain turning to snow late today and tonight. Rain should turn to snow generally after 6 pm tonight but pavement melting will likely keep snow totals below 2 inches for most of town. Higher totals are possible on mountain roads in northern Fremont County, but Highway 115 will also likely stay at or below 2 inches. Ice could develop on untreated roads tonight.
Woodland Park forecast: High: 40; Low: 15. Cloudy and chilly with rain quickly turning to snow this afternoon. The rain-to-snow changeover should happen by 3 to 4 pm today, and that's when snow will start accumulating in the grass and eventually on the pavement. There's a storm-like nature to this snow, meaning we could get really heavy accumulation through the early evening. 4 to 8 inches are possible late today and tonight with flurries through Thursday morning.
Tri-Lakes forecast: High: 40s; Low: 20s. Very similar to Woodland Park, we'll be cloudy and chilly with rain quickly turning to snow in the afternoon. Snow bands in northern El Paso County could result in rapid 4 to 8 inch accumulations overnight through early Thursday morning. Road temperatures will fall below freezing around and after 10 pm tonight, meaning ice could form under the snow. Upslope flurries are possible through early Thursday morning.
Plains forecast: High: 50s; Low: 20s. Mostly cloudy and really warm today with a cold front likely not arriving to the Highway 50 corridor until 5 to 6 pm. Rain will turn to snow overnight, but snow totals will remain pretty low. Totals along and north of Highway 50 could range fro a dusting to 2 inches up around Lincoln County, but south of Highway 50 we should see 0 to 1 inch of snow.
Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: High: 50s; Low: 20s. Warm and cloudy with a late day and evening cold front. Overnight rain to snow showers are possible, but snow accumulations look like next to nothing along the southern I-25 corridor. We shouldn't see much if any impact from the light moisture overnight, maybe just a few slick spots in town.
Mountains forecast: High: 40s; Low: 10s. Dangerous snow will continue to fall across the Continental Divide with the San Juans on track to receive anywhere from 1 to 2 feet through Thursday afternoon. Monarch Pass could get an easy 10 inches through tomorrow afternoon with plenty of snow along I-70. The heaviest snow locally will fall across the Front Range in western El Paso and Teller Counties late today and tonight.
Extended outlook forecast:
Thursday may start with areas of freezing fog or flurries, but we should clear clouds and moisture through the afternoon. We'll stay chilly Thursday with highs in the 30s and 40s.
Chilly but dry air sticks around locally with heavy snow returning to the Continental Divide over the weekend.
We could see another snowstorm hit the region late Sunday night through Monday. Heavy snow is possible locally, especially in northern El Paso County and teller county.
Curious about the First Alert 5 Weather Storm Impact Scale? Check out our cheatsheet explainer.
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