Arctic Airmass brings first big snowfall of the season to Colorado Springs

Though Colorado Springs experienced its first measurable snowfall of the season earlier this month, on Nov. 10, residents awoke on Friday to their heaviest accumulations yet — including up to 7 inches of snow in some areas.

What the National Weather Service in Pueblo called an “Arctic air mass” moved over the Rocky Mountains, bringing light flakes over Colorado Springs Thursday afternoon. Snowfall intensified overnight as wind chills reached as low as -7 degrees in Colorado Springs and fell about 3 to 5 inches across most of the central metro area by 7 a.m. Friday, according to NWS Snowfall Reports.

Between 1 and 3 inches fell around Briargate and other upper Northeast regions during the same period, while neighborhoods west of Interstate 25 accumulated 3.5 to 6 inches before snowfall eased mid-morning. According to the report, the Ivywild neighborhood received 7.1 inches as of 7 a.m

East of Denver saw the highest urban snowfall levels, with Golden and Boulder seeing accumulations of just under a foot, the National Weather Service in Boulder reported.

Despite snowpack covering much of the Interstate 25 corridor, highlands and southeastern plains, overnight rainfall levels will do little to quell the state’s dry conditions, according to Mike Nosko, director of the monitoring program at NWS Pueblo.

“The moisture level is way too low,” Nosko said, “so it won’t have much of an effect.”

Single-digit temperatures and slick roads caused widespread school, base and business closures and a handful of traffic accidents during the Colorado Springs morning commute. Nearly a dozen school districts and nearly 20 private and charter schools closed or faced a two-hour delay, while Fort Carson officials called for “essential personnel only.”

Most lanes that were closed after Friday morning crashes were reopened as of 1 p.m

As of Friday afternoon, the roads were still “predominantly littered with ice and snow,” according to Colorado Springs operations program manager Chris Howard. The city employed 25 to 27 snow and ice control vehicles to manage “primary and secondary” roads.

Snow accumulation on the ground could be short-lived as temperatures are expected to warm up to a sunny high near 36 on Saturday and a mild sunny high near 50 on Sunday. Highs are expected to hover in the upper 40s and low 50s over the following days with little chance of moisture.

“It should stay dry until the holiday weekend,” Nosko said.