Our unseasonably warm weather will continue into the weekend, but will be accompanied by strong south to southwest winds. Wind speeds Saturday will be in the 15-35 mph range increasing later in the day and Saturday night. Speeds Sunday will be ridiculous, with sustained winds of 25-50 mph and gusts to 70 mph possible. This combination along with single digit humidity values will create very high fire danger this weekend, especially in areas without snow on the ground. Any fires that do start will have explosive growth potential. Temps will remain 10-20 degrees above seasonal averages this weekend.
Upper trough will will dig along the CA coast this weekend and will move slowly east next week. Models now are more progressive with this system and never stop and intensify it, just keep it moving slowly east. Thus, upper trough will move across CO Monday and Tuesday, then into the southern Plains and Ohio Valley next week. Result will be for snow to move into western CO Sunday and spread east to about the Front Range crest by Sunday evening. Snow level will begin around 7500-8500 feet early Sunday, lowering to valley floors Sunday night. Southwest mountains will get the brunt of this storm, with 10-20 inches possible, while central mountains get 5-10 inches and northern mountains less than 6 inches. Amounts decrease rapidly east of the Divide. Cold front will move through the foothills Sunday night which will cool temps dramatically. We could see some brief snow or flurries as front moves through Sunday evening and night, but expect amounts to less than an inch or two, while some areas only see a dusting to a few flakes. Snow continues across CO on Monday as upper trough moves slowly east, and foothills areas could see an additional inch or so during the day on Monday into Tuesday morning. Mostly cool with some snow flurries over higher terrain of the mountains on Tuesday as upper trough moves into the southern Plains. So total storm accumlations look like 1-3 inches across most foothill areas, with some areas only seeing a dusting.
As upper trough moves into the Plains, threat of severe weather on Monday from the Dakotas down to Texas, and will move east with upper trough through the week.
For the remainder of next week it currently looks like a return to warm and breezy conditions across the state. Upper ridge buids into the Great Plains which will increase temps well beyond seasonal norms by next weekend, where we could see temps in the low 80's across the Plains.
Long range models do not indicate any major storms through the end of March, so we could end March well below average snowfall for the month. April will then determine if we end the seasoan below or above average. If we continue the dry trend in April as climate models predict, we could be dealing with a nasty early fire season. As snow melts off more areas and grasses remain dry, fire danger will be high.
"Climatology is what you expect, Weather is what you get".
"It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong".