We discuss the light snow that fell Tuesday across the region and when we may see our next.

Boulder Creek in Downtown Boulder, 8AM Wednesday November 8, 2017

Yesterday’s snowflakes came in two distinct waves, mostly tied to the overhead jet forcing. The first was from midnight to 8AM, followed by another lighter round from 6PM to 10PM. We expected the heaviest snow to fall in the Foothills of Larimer County and northern Boulder County as this is where the models were showing the best jet forcing. Indeed, this was a rare occasion where Estes Park received the most snowfall of all the Front Range….12 to 14″ based on spotter reports! This is almost never the case as the city rests in a valley that gets partially downsloped by easterly flow. Tuesday’s snowfall was hardly reliant on upslope.

Animation showing the strong jet streak across southern Colorado fueling the snow fall.

Boulders official snow total was 4.4″, while Denver only saw a few flakes (trace reported). This brings our seasonal totals to 12.4″ in Boulder and 2.8″ in Denver, about average for this time of year.

Shown below is our original forecast map created Monday morning. The observed storm totals per location are contained in boxes. Green ones indicate that the observed snowfall was within one inch of the given forecast range, while red was outside the scope of our forecast. Overall, a good result for most locations. The exception was for the heart of the Denver Metro area. Very few if any snow bands actually reached these locations. Upslope was so shallow it had almost no impact during this event.

Looking ahead, there is currently nothing of major interest on our radar. The next snow event is likely more than a week (or two) away. 

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Ben Castellani

Ben grew up in western Pennsylvania and holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree in meteorology. He currently works on a programming language tailored for scientists at Harris Geospatial Solutions in Boulder.

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