The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook that spans a large swath of Colorado, active tonight through next Tuesday.
UPDATE: [PHOTOS] Snow did fall with more likely on the way
Included in this outlook is the prediction of a “few inches of snow” falling tonight north of the I-70 corridor at elevations as low as 10,000 feet. This would be the first measurable snowfall of the summer following the end of lingering wintery weather in late June.
Along with this report of snow, hail as large as 2 inches is a threat in the Eastern Plains region, as well as north of Greeley to Akron. An isolated tornado will also be possible with wind speeds potentially reaching up to 70 miles per hour. As this storm cycle continues, cooler temperatures are expected to move into the state until weather warms up again over the weekend.
According to Joel Gratz of OpenSnow.com, the storm moving into Colorado tonight is the 2nd of three storms with snowfall potential. The third storm will likely arrive on September 17th. In his report, Gratz states that a snow-bringing storm like this is relatively normal in September. It will be unlikely to impact ski season. However, the early snowfall is impacting other tourist attractions around Colorado, including Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road, which is set to close early tonight due to incoming wintery weather.
Last year, Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area was the first resort to open in America, opening on October 13. This was close to their earliest ever opening of October 8 in 2011. Wolf Creek’s 2018 opening was shortly followed by Arapahoe Basin opening on October 19 and Loveland Ski Area opening on October 20.
Snowfall around Colorado was quite heavy last year, with lasting snowpack impacting summer outdoor recreation around the state. High-altitude trails remained covered with snow and ice into summer, mountain roads opened late, late-season avalanche risk was widespread, and snowmelt-swollen waters proved dangerous to river-goers.
If you’ll be traveling around Colorado tonight, be aware of where wintery weather is likely to hit. Proceed with caution and monitor travel conditions. The Colorado Department of Transportation is a great resource, posting regular updates on Facebook, Twitter, and their official website.
Here’s a full breakdown of the areas impacted by this hazardous weather outlook:
- Jackson County Below 9000 Feet
- West Jackson and West Grand Counties Above 9000 Feet
- Grand and Summit Counties Below 9000 Feet
- South and East Jackson/Larimer/North and Northeast Grand
- Northwest Boulder Counties Above 9000 Feet
- South and Southeast Grand/West Central and Southwest Boulder
- Gilpin/Clear Creek/Summit/North and West Park Counties Above 9000 Feet
- Larimer and Boulder Counties Between 6000 and 9000 Feet
- Jefferson and West Douglas Counties Above 6000 Feet
- Gilpin/Clear Creek/Northeast Park Counties Below 9000 Feet
- Central and Southeast Park County
- Larimer County Below 6000 Feet/Northwest Weld County
- Boulder And Jefferson Counties Below 6000 Feet/West Broomfield County
- North Douglas County Below 6000 Feet/Denver/West Adams and Arapahoe Counties/East Broomfield County
- Elbert/Central and East Douglas Counties Above 6000 Feet
- Northeast Weld County
- Central and South Weld County
- Morgan County
- Central and East Adams and Arapahoe Counties
- North and Northeast Elbert County Below 6000 Feet
- North Lincoln County
- Southeast Elbert County Below 6000 Feet
- South Lincoln County
- Logan County
- Washington County
- Sedgwick County
- Phillips County