Weekend storm still on track
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A quick look at the latest update from the National Weather Service shows something that you can’t find just anywhere. The multi-colored weather map indicates a tornado watch on the eastern plains, a red flag fire warning in the south-central part of the state and a winter storm watch for the western mountains. I’d say, “only in Colorado,” but that would one of those exaggerations that TV meteorologists are prone to use, and I don’t want to be that guy.
Twisters and fires aside, the forecast models are beginning to converge on a solution that promises significant snow in parts of Colorado. The San Juans are targeted Saturday under a southwest flow and the north-central and northwest mountains are favored Saturday night and Sunday morning as the low pressure center meanders east through southern Colorado and the flow turns to the north. Under the current winter storm watch, some 10 to 20 inches of snow could fall in favored areas before all is said and done.
The northwest quadrant of the storm is forecast to have the most lift (which helps generate precipitation) and the forecast track is for that section of the storm to pass directly over the north-central mountains and the northern Front Range, with the heaviest snow slated for Saturday night.
Forecasters are still cautioning that slight differences in the models could make a big difference in where the heaviest snow falls — A shift of just 100 miles to the south, which has happened with many storms this winter, could change the picture dramatically.
Temperatures should hold steady Friday and into Saturday mornings near seasonal norms, which is in the mid-40s, and overnight lows, will also remain warm under cloudy skies. The forecast high for Friday is 50 degrees. Temps will drop Saturday night with passage of the main storm, and could nudge downward again Sunday, but right now, the forecast is still calling for highs in the mid-40s, with overnight lows in the teens.