By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – As of noon on Friday it looks like everything is coming together for a potent spring storm that will get underway tonight.

However, the forecast is not entirely set in stone for a variety of reasons, a few of which are highlighted below.

All I can say is get ready for a few forecasting surprises with this one!

(and if that happens then you can proudly say that you heard it first from CBS4 and Colorado’s Weather Center)

Why A Few Surprises?

  • Convective Nature – a storm in the spring has more atmospheric instability than a storm in the winter, meaning greater temperature differences within the atmosphere, and that produces convection (think showers and thunderstorms).
  • Convection will produce a wide variety of snow totals over very short distances. If you end up under a convective snow shower you can pile up several inches of heavy, wet snow in a short time. Meanwhile, just down the road, it could be a mere flurry.

  • Storm’s Path – when you get a forecast from your favorite meteorologist it’s based largely on weather balloon data (and we only sample the atmosphere every 12 hours). So while weather models do provide hourly updates and tools like water vapor loops and radar can reveal trends, we eagerly await new balloon data to reveal subtle, yet crucial details to a storm’s track.

    There are some indications that this storm could dig a little deeper over the Four Corners Friday night. If that happens…

  • it could slow down and drop even more snow
  • it could make the storm last into the early part of the day on Sunday
  • it could drop further south and shift the bulls eye of heaviest snow south
  • Isn’t Colorado’s weather exciting?!?

    It will be a fun ride and we encourage you to follow us here in Colorado’s Weather Center as we monitor the latest details.

    Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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