Why the Denver snow won’t stop

THIRD DAY OF MARCH BLIZZARD--3-20-2002--Neal Nixon of Coal Creek digs a pathway to his car near the intersection of Colorado Highway 72 and Twin Spruce Rd. in Coal Creek Canyon Thursday. Nixon was trying to free up his Kia Sephia sedan which was totally buried under snow so he could take his mother, Lori, to her wedding in Las Vegas on Saturday. "She's pretty freaked out," admits Nixon. POST STAFF PHOTO BY GLENN ASAKAWA  (Photo By Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
THIRD DAY OF MARCH BLIZZARD--3-20-2002--Neal Nixon of Coal Creek digs a pathway to his car near the intersection of Colorado Highway 72 and Twin Spruce Rd. in Coal Creek Canyon Thursday. Nixon was trying to free up his Kia Sephia sedan which was totally buried under snow so he could take his mother, Lori, to her wedding in Las Vegas on Saturday. "She's pretty freaked out," admits Nixon. POST STAFF PHOTO BY GLENN ASAKAWA (Photo By Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Our weekend is looking more and more tame with a rainy Sunday bringing a few thunderstorms. Colorado, on the other hand, is watching for Snowmageddon!

The reason is that a very slow-moving storm will take all weekend to get across the southern Rockies and, as it crawls along, plenty of Gulf moisture will feed into it. Here’s the current setup showing the approaching storm and a big high-pressure system coming down from Canada. I’ve drawn a purple line illustrating how that High is blocking the Low from moving very fast:

The Canadian High is a big blocking system for the slow moving Low

The jet stream, those fast-moving upper air winds, would normally help move this Low along, but the Low is forming just north of the Jet (what we call a cut-off Low because it’s cut off from the jet) so that’s no help:

Jet Stream is just south of the Low

This snow-making machine will move across the Rockies at a snow-shoe pace, not a downhill racer:

Here comes the snow courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

An easy 2 FEET of snow is forecast around Denver with as much as 4 FEET possible in more mountainous areas.

European Model. Purple indicates 2' of snow

There is an upside

The 2002 blizzard in Denver cured an ongoing drought and if you look at yesterday’s U.S. Drought Monitor it’s easy to see “exceptional” to “extreme” drought across the Rockies. So this snow event could be a lifesaver.

US Drought Monitor

The snow Low will move out of the area Monday, but it’s going to be a no-travel weekend in Colorado! There’s just ‘sno’-stopping it.

Don’t forget to set those clocks one hour forward Saturday night! But, hey, it’s still the weekend!

Frank

Email me and follow me on Facebook!


About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.