Abstract

Heavy snowstorms occur regularly along Colorado's Front Range and cause significant economic and human consequences for the urban corridor from Denver to Fort Collins. This paper examines one type of winter storm that displays great variability in the distribution of heavy snow. A dense network of surface observations and wind profilers are used to identify cold air damming and an associated mesoscale front that are located just east of the Front Range of the Rockies. Overrunning low-level southeasterly flow produces heavy snow in a narrow region parallel to the mountains and west of the surface front. Based upon this example and other similar cases, a conceptual model has been developed and operationally implemented at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Denver, Colorado.

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