Denver weather: Big snow possible this weekend — but it’s too early to say for sure

A winter storm could drop significant snow on Denver this weekend — but it’s too soon to say for sure just how much of the white stuff the city will get.

The weather factors that could lead to heavy snowfall are in place, but whether or not those factors will coalesce in just the right way to dump snow on Denver this weekend won’t be clear until Wednesday or Thursday, a local meteorologist said Monday.

Some computer models circulated on social media Monday predicted the Denver area could receive as much as three feet of snow in the storm — with more in the foothills — but those predictions are likely too high, said Scott Entrekin, meteorologist at the National Weather Service at Boulder.

“In all honesty it’s probably overdone,” he said. “It’s getting a little too excited. In reality, it still could be a good storm system, but to get those kinds of amounts, that widespread everywhere, is not realistic.”

He estimates the region could receive six to 12 inches of snow Friday and Saturday — possibly more — but said it’s simply too soon to accurately predict how the incoming weather system will behave.

The storm is developing near Southern California and will move east across southern Colorado, he said, a pattern that is generally a “good setup for potential heavy snow across eastern Colorado.”

But the exact path of the low-pressure system remains to be seen, and it’s hard to say at this point whether it will pick up enough moisture as it moves across land to produce major snowfall. If the storm does bring snow, that could hit anywhere from New Mexico to Colorado.

Regardless of the exact snow totals, Front Range residents should prepare for a snowy weekend with sloppy roads, the meteorologist said.

“The main messaging is for folks — especially (those) traveling this weekend — that they should be prepared that if things get really bad, roads could be closed, that kind of thing,” Entrekin said.

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