COLORADO SPRINGS — Forecasting snow is – in a word – challenging, especially early and late in the season, for a myriad of reasons. Those include atmospheric temperature, characteristics of the snow being wet and heavy cement-like stuff, recent temperatures and the warmth being held on pavement and in the ground.

This storm is no different.

Here’s an example of where several different weather model suites are for their forecasted amounts for the airport as of Thursday morning. Yikes! Is this possible? Certainly – but there is a lot to it.

Colorado Springs, Woodland Park and the entire Pikes Peak Region is now included in the Winter Storm Warning from noon Friday – Saturday 6PM. These stretch north through the I-25 gap into Denver and the northern Front Range. Heaviest snow falls west of I-25, especially from the Rampart Range into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Given recent weather and the fact that temperature will be within a few degrees of freezing overnight Friday into Saturday, there will certainly be melting of snow after it falls. The weight of the new falling snow will also tend to compact snow that falls and sticks early on. The timelapse below from Woodland Park shows how impacts on roads are likely to change over time through the evening. Expect snowpack/slush under bursts, but then improving road conditions as they rates lighten up.

Road conditions are likely to change by the hour given the time of year. Expect worst road conditions late Friday night into Saturday morning.

A tricky part of the viewing area with be the mountains southwest of Pueblo into the Wet Mountain Valley. Snow totals here won’t be as impressive as areas farther north, but we’re looking at several inches of snow around Westcliffe and Wetmore into Saturday morning. Up to a foot of snow can’t be ruled out over the Wet Mountain peaks!

Areas that see a rain/snow mix, or even a switchover to all snow along the river around Pueblo and areas east may wake up to some white on the grass Saturday morning, but that would likely melt off pretty quick.

We need the water, we know that!