Last Update: May 20th, 5:30 PM
FRIDAY NIGHT: Roads are still too warm for any snow to start sticking. By the evening, rain switches over to snow for Colorado Springs and some lower elevation areas. Heavier snow rates will be possible during the evening timeframe, especially for the Pikes Peak Region, Teller County and across northern El Paso through the I-25 gap. Rain will transition to snow later Friday night for areas farther south and east of Colorado Springs as colder air sinks in.
Most will only see slushy roads through early evening with elevation playing a big role in where biggest impacts are. Teller County, the Palmer Divide to Monument, and higher terrain areas see accumulating snow late Friday. Snow will be steady over these areas and ongoing into Saturday. Visibility will be a challenge when the snow is coming down hard.
SATURDAY: Snow and rain will continue across the region to start the day. Snow will continue to be heavy at times over and near the mountains. The snow level that will be down to about 4,500′ to begin the day will lift back up to about 5,500′. In the afternoon the intensity of snow will begin to decrease and after lunch the coverage of showers will be begin to decrease too. Highs will vary from the upper 50s in the San Luis Valley to the 20s over some mountain areas.
There are real challenges to forecasting snow amounts this time of year. The snow will tend to melt from below after it falls. Since it’s heavy and wet, it will tend to compact as new heavy snow falls on top of it. It’s been warm and the roads may tend to slush up at times when the snow is coming down heavy and then melt when the rates decrease.
The combination of impacts from the storm through road conditions, visibility, tree branches, potential for power outages, etc. is captured here in the National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Severity Index. Notice the shift south from the first image through midnight tonight – to the second image for Saturday. Use the slider to compare the two images. The brighter the red the higher the impact.
Trees that have leafed out will have a hard time holding the weight of the cement-like snow and may break. You might want to go out and shake some of the branches if you can Friday evening when the snow is coming down hard.
EXTENDED: I’ve made changes to the extended forecast…keeping us unsettled and cooler than we’ve been recently into the early part of next week. Showers and some thunderstorms look like a possibility Monday and Tuesday as another cold front moves through. We’ll warm up behind that.