Weather Blog: Strong May cold front, Colorado snowstorm

Posted at 2:23 AM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 11:34:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Good Friday bloggers,

We have had an up and down weather pattern for months. May, for example, saw highs in the 50s from May 2 to 4. Then, May 9 to 12 saw highs in the low 90s, with 3 record highs tied. Now, here we are heading into the 3rd weekend of May and highs will run 10-20 degrees below average in the 50s and 60s as a strong cold front moves through today.

Winter will grip Colorado in to far western Kansas, while we see some rain, possibly a cold rain Saturday.

Let's go through this.

The strong cold front will move through this morning. Clouds will increase and temperatures will drop from the highs in the 70s to the 60s. There may be a few sprinkles, but a warm layer at 5000-10000 feet, also known as a "cap" will prevent any thunderstorms from forming today. A few thunderstorms may skirt northern Missouri this morning. It will warm to near 90 degrees in the south and east part of Missouri.


At 5 p.m., we may see some sun as the clouds slide off to the east. Temperatures will be in the 60s. Snow will be increasing west of Denver where there is a Winter Storm Warning!


We will see clouds increase as warm and moist air begins to overrun the slowing cold front to our south. Areas of rain and thunderstorms, some severe, will form along and just behind the front. The biggest thunderstorms look to be found across the I-44 corridor, with our area on the northern edge. This means we may see a few rounds of scattered showers and thunderstorms with temperatures in the 50s.

Snow will be really increasing in Colorado as a system comes out of the Rockies. This system is also the reason for the warm and moist air overrunning the cold front.


We will be cloudy and cool with a few rain showers along with a north wind at 10-20 miles per hour. Temperatures will be in the low 50s. The snowstorm will be roaring in Colorado.


Our area will be breezy and quite cool for May with temperatures around 50 degrees along with a 10-20 miles per hour wind from the north. I know there are more graduations and there is a chance of showers, mostly light, but a few downpours are not out of the question. A thunderstorm can't be ruled out either. I wish I had better news.

The snow will be winding down in Colorado.


Denver is in a Winter Storm Warning for 4-8 inches of snow. The mountains to the west may see 1-2 feet of snow! A dusting to 1 inch may creep into far western Kansas.

Denver does average 1.4 inches of snow in May, but after May 24 the average is zero. May 15-24 the average is 0.3 inches, so yes this is quite rare.


Any showers will be exiting our area as temperatures drop to the 40s along with a decreasing wind. The front will start a surge south and this may generate severe thunderstorms along and south of I-44.


We will see lows in the mid 40s, if the clouds hold on. If the sky clears, we may see lows drop to the low 40s, challenging the record low of 41 degrees set in 1963.


Here is the good news. The sun will be out and highs will reach the 60s with a light wind, making for a nice afternoon.


Total rainfall around here tonight and Saturday will be in the trace to 1 inch category.

Below are 2 maps of the radar estimated rainfall totals since last Friday. Your rain gauge may read different as these are just radar estimates.

That being said, you can get a picture of where rain is needed and where rain is not needed.


There is a clear line from Atchison, Kansas, to Harrisonville, Missouri, and points west that has seen widespread 3 to 5 inches of rain, some 6-8 inches.

East of the above mentioned line rainfall has been in the .50-1.25 inches range. There are a few locations that have seen 1-3 inches of rain and some that have seen under .50 inches.

We average about 1.3 inches of rain per week in May, and it takes about that much to keep the yards green without watering.


If you need rain, and you miss the rain this time, there are increasing chances of widespread rain and thunderstorms Monday night through Wednesday.

Have a great weekend
Stay healthy