By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – The weather pattern is looking a bit more active in Colorado as we move into the week of Thanksgiving. Right now we see two different weather systems in the long-range models between next Monday and Friday. Each one should bring gusty wind and a chance for snow into the Rocky Mountains, especially those located along and north of Highway 50. For Denver and the Eastern Plains, the chance for snow will be dictated by the strength of each system.

Here’s the 87 hour forecast from the 12z GFS model on Nov. 20, 2020. (credit: College of DuPage)

The first Thanksgiving week weathermaker will arrive sometime on Monday and the second by late Thursday into Friday. Each one will approach from the northwest which is a common direction during an episode of La Niña.

This path of travel will typically produce the most snow along and west of the Continental Divide with a little bit of spillover for the higher foothills of Clear Creek, Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson and Park counties.

In Denver, the Interstate 25 urban corridor and on the adjacent plains we usually just see wind and a few snow showers as the cold front moves through when storms approach from the northwest. But sometimes if a jet streak is overhead we can see some banded snowfall.

Here’s the 165 hour forecast from the 12z GFS model on Nov. 20, 2020. (credit: College of DuPage)

While Thanksgiving travel will likely be very limited this year due to the current pandemic, if you are planning travel, pay close attention to the forecast, especially in the northern and central mountains. We will continue to fine tune our forecast and monitor these next two storm systems for any changes in strength or direction of travel.

Temperatures over the upcoming week will go up and down in between between weather systems. Highs in Denver will be around 60 degrees on Monday before cooling into the 40s Tuesday. Then it is back to around 60 again on Wednesday before falling into the 40s once again for Thursday and Friday.

It will be a similar trend in the high country with 20s and 30s Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. In between storms it will be warmest on Monday and Wednesday.

Chris Spears

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