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Active Weather for the Rockies; Southern Plains Storm Taking Shape

Snow showers, squalls and strong winds will affect portions of the Cascades and Rockies through Wednesday. Meanwhile, a developing storm across the Southern Plains will track toward the Great Lakes into Thursday as severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and strong winds are forecast for the Mid-Lower Mississippi Valley. Heavy snow is possible for the Upper Midwest and wintry mix for the Northeast. Read More >

Overview

A midlevel Pacific trough and associated surface cold front progressed through western Colorado on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Scattered to numerous showers occurred out ahead of and with the passage of the front. Mild and well above normal temperatures occurred out ahead of the front with the Cooperative Observer in Moab, Utah recording a new record high for February 3 with a high temperature of 66 degrees. This broke the previous record of 64 degrees, set in 2018. Unfortunately, the warm temperatures led to mostly rain in the lower elevations with the heaviest snow falling above 8000 feet.

The presence of a strong upper level jet overhead led to breezy conditions at the surface with winds gusting up to 60 mph in the higher elevations at times and close  to 40 mph in the valleys. 

Generally 6 to 12 inches of snow fell across the Elkhead, Park, Gore and Elk Mountains with this system as well as over the Grand and Battlement Mesas in west-central Colorado. Closer to 3 to 9 inches of snow fell over the Flat Tops and the Northwest San Juan Mountains.

In addition to the abundance of moisture, moderate instability associated with the cold front led to stronger snow bands along portions of west-central Colorado. The Central Colorado River Basin saw 2 to 4 inches of snow in a short period of time as a band of snow settled over the region. The Snowmass Ski Area reported a 24-hour snowfall total of 20 inches in response to a heavy band of snow. A snow squall developed near Crested Butte, Colorado Wednesday evening as a webcam north of town showed near zero visibilities with the arrival of the squall.

February 2-4, 2021 Winter Storm Snowfall Map
Storm Total Snowfall: February 2-4, 2021
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