Snow will return as the weekend closes

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:11 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - We’re heading into the weekend as a storm system exits Colorado to the east. That means decent weather will prevail for most of our weekend here in Western Colorado.

This Weekend’s Forecast

Saturday will be partly cloudy to mostly sunny with highs in the low-to-mid 30s and morning lows in the lower and middle teens. Sunday will start sunny, but clouds will increase throughout the afternoon. Highs will be in the high 20s to low 30s. Morning lows will be in the middle teens. Those increasing clouds may bring some snow on Sunday night, but that chance for snow will hold off until well after sunset. That means we should be able to salvage most of our daylight hours.

Our Next Snow Maker Arrives Sunday Night

That Sunday night snow maker isn’t likely to be a big deal for us. It’s a storm system that comes with two big parts. The first part is the upper level low pressure circulation. This will arrive after 5 PM Sunday and brings with it the biggest chance for snow to us across Western Colorado. Even that “biggest” chance for snow means limited snow at best. You can thank the second part of this storm system for limiting that snow. The second part is a developing low pressure circulation down near the ground. It will form south of us over north-central New Mexico. The counter-clockwise circulation around low pressure will generate an east-to-west wind into Western Colorado. A wind from the east is a downslope wind off of the Continental Divide. Downsloping winds dry the air in the lower atmosphere and often choke off the snow and rain. The east-to-west wind along the Front Range - east of the Continental Divide - has the opposite affect: an upslope wind. That will generate snow Sunday night through Monday morning along the Front Range from Denver and Fort Collins to Colorado Springs and Pueblo. That heaviest and most abundant snow should stay well east of us.

Expected Snow Accumulation

Still, some snow is possible Sunday evening and into the night here across Western Colorado. In the valleys along Highway 50, we generally get no more than an inch or two of accumulation - maybe a little higher on the Montrose end of Highway 50. The higher terrain on either side of Highway 50, including the Uncompahgre Plateau to the west and the Grand Mesa and mountains to the east and the San Juans to the south, can get 2-4 inches of snow. The Front Range gets the biggest snow with 6-9 inches likely around Denver, Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Winter Park. Up to a foot of snow can fall around Boulder. As always, some local variation is possible.

Our Next 24 Hours

Tonight will be mainly cloudy. We’ll cool slowly this evening from near 30 degrees around 6 PM to upper 20s at 10 PM. Lingering snow around Cortez will end, and we’re all turning colder tonight. Low temperatures by morning will be near 16 degrees around Grand Junction, 15 degrees around Montrose, 16 degrees around Delta, and 12 degrees around Cortez. Saturday morning clouds will give way to a brighter afternoon of sun. High temperatures will be near 34 degrees around Grand Junction, 30 degrees around Montrose, 32 degrees around Delta, and 33 degrees around Cortez.