It is not rare for an August cold front to drop snow on Colorado’s mountains, and the incoming cold front could do just that.
The cold front that is approaching from the north is a bit stronger of a storm than what is typically expected for this time of the year. That means that the cold that is associated with it is cooler than what normally occurs too. So when you combine moisture with the cooler than normal temperatures expected above 13,000-feet, you get the chance of seeing snow.
Above the tree line, which sits around 11,000 to 12,000-feet, is quite literally a different climate. That’s why no trees survive at that elevation and an area where the weather gets so extreme every year. It’s truly a fascinating part of Colorado, and it’s no surprise that those dramatic peaks can see snow showers when Denver has temperatures in the 80s.
Previewing the upcoming winter, several inches of snow fell in north-central Alaska Tuesday morning. While this much snow is not expected on Colorado’s mountain tops, a few inches may fall on the high peaks of the Uintah mountains in Utah and the Bighorn, Teton and Wind River mountains of Wyoming. Most areas in Colorado should only see a dusting to an inch or two of accumulation at most and this will be confined to areas above 13,000-feet. The Wet Mountains and the southern Front Range 14ers will likely miss out on this round of snow.
The snow that could fall will not be of any concern to travelers, but anyone with outdoor plans about the tree line between now and Friday should consider the incoming weather.
Andy Stein is a freelance meteorologist.
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