It's that time of the year already for rapidly changing weather conditions and the four letter word, snow, in the Rockies.
A fall storm swinging across the Southwest will trigger the first snowfall of the season in the Colorado Rockies into Wednesday evening. To the northeast, an area of high pressure will supply a chilly north-northeast flow to Colorado.
"This time of year, you get huge flips in the weather," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews explained. "There is a cold outbreak occurring behind a norther [cold] front compared to a summer, southwesterly flow, that the region has been experiencing recently."
The eastern Sawatch Mountains and western Mosquito Range of Colorado will be whitened by snow above 11,000 feet with the heaviest snow expected above 12,000 feet. The Sawatch Mountain Range is home to the highest mountain in the Rockies, Mt. Elbert, which is around 14,440 feet in elevation.
Snowfall amounts of 4-8 inches are expected with local accumulations of 10 inches predicted in the highest elevations.
With recent highs in the mountains climbing into the 60s, there are fears that hikers may be caught off-guard. Climbers, hikers and visitors should be prepared for snow and winter conditions. Gusty winds may contribute to some blowing snow and poor visibility.
Independence Pass, a pass that sits just above 12,000 feet in elevation along State Highway 82, is among areas that will receive snow. The pass, which connects Leadville, Colo., to Aspen, Colo., is one of the highest in the U.S. Motorists should have winter kits in their vehicles if traveling through the area.
AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok first warned that the Four Corners was a region to watch for early season snow in the AccuWeather fall forecast released back in early August.
While Denver and other lower elevations of Colorado will not receive any snow, a drastic change in the weather is in store. Highs have climbed to or above the 90-degree mark in Denver the past couple of days. Today, the high will only be in the upper 50s with a chilly rain falling.
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Mainly dry and colder air will continue to sweep into Pittsburgh through Wednesday and should work to keep a snowstorm just to the east.
A storm packing rain, wind, low clouds and snow will lead to travel difficulties around Philadelphia, especially Wednesday into Wednesday evening.
Despite Monday’s springlike warmth, cold air will grip Detroit through the remainder of the week.
A storm packing wind and snow will lead to travel difficulties around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, especially Wednesday into Wednesday evening.
A storm packing rain, wind, low clouds and snow will lead to travel difficulties around New York City, especially Wednesday into Wednesday night.
Ohio, PA, WV, NY (1950)
Record Snowstorm (24th-25th) Location Amount Youngstown, OH 28.7 in. (single storm record) Steubenville, OH 36.3 in. (single storm state record) Pittsburgh, PA 27.7 in. (single storm record) Charleston, WV 25.6 in. (single storm record) Albany, NY 22.5 in.
Typhoon Irma, the worst in 10 years packed winds up to 139 mph and resulted in a storm surge of 16 feet. 236 people killed; 600,000 were left homeless.
New York State (1989)
Heavy lake-effect snow caused a 60-car accident on I-81 north of Rome.