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Heavy Mountain Snow & Significant Tornado Threat

Mother Nature is celebrating Mother’s Day in her own way. Heavy snow has already begun in the Rockies, and strong thunderstorms swept across the Plains last night (round two awaits us this afternoon). Maybe a NOAA weather radio would be an appropriate Mother’s Day gift today? It will certainly come in handy in a few spots today!

Snow potential varies greatly with elevation in Colorado, but 6″ isn’t out of the question for Denver’s metro and the surrounding foothills. Temperatures will fall throughout the day, and roads will be a mess later this evening. This is the high-resolution snow forecast for Colorado & the rest of the West through 6pm MDT Monday (courtesy WeatherBell.com):

High resolution snow forecast next 36 hours
High resolution snow forecast next 36 hours
High resolution snow forecast next 36 hours
High resolution snow forecast for the next 36 hours

This winter storm is certainly late in the season, falling past the average “last snow” date of April 26th. However, the latest measurable snowfall ever happened June 12th, 1947, so this is by no means “record-breaking” here in Denver. I pulled some stats (shown below) about springtime snowfall in Denver, CO. For more fun weather tidbits, check out the NWS climatology page here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=snowstat

Denver Spring Snow Information

Earliest Date of Last Snow: March 4, 1887
Latest Date of Last Snow: June 12, 1947
Average Date: April 26th

Date of Last Measurable Snow Last 10 Years:
May 2, 2013
April 3, 2012
May 11, 2011
May 12, 2010
April 27, 2009
May 14, 2008
April 14, 2007
May 10, 2006
May 2, 2005
April 30, 2004

Meanwhile, the severe side of this storm rages on in the Central Plains this afternoon/evening. Yesterday’s storm reports clustered nicely within the SPC risk outlook, shown below. Take the threat seriously once again today.

SPC Outlook Saturday and Verification
SPC Outlook Saturday and Verification

This is today’s outlook (through Sunday night):

Severe Threat Sunday
Severe Threat Sunday

There is a significant tornado threat within the Moderate risk area shown above, and we expect rotating supercell thunderstorms to develop after a hot, muggy afternoon. Here’s a snapshot of the future radar for later this evening (courtesy WeatherBell.com) which shows this line developing in eastern Nebraska by 7pm CDT:

Radar Snapshot 7pm CDT 4km WRF
Radar Snapshot 7pm CDT 4km WRF

Colder air moves in as the storms pull away. Expect a major temperature drop in the next few days, and below-average conditions will likely persist for the next 6-10 days ahead (this upcoming weekend and into next week). Find more long-range outlooks at the Climate Prediction Center, here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

6-10 Day Temperature Outlook
6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

We have details on this and more weather headlines on WeatherNation! Tune in 24-7 for real weather, pure and simple. But don’t forget to spend some time with the mom in your life today . . . Have a fantastic Mother’s Day!

-Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers

Find me on Twitter: @mhilgersWNTV

Find me on Facebook: facebook.com/MeteorologistMirandaHilgers

Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers
Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers

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