Denver area and this weeks snowstorm...best locations

Denver NWS says the following:

POSSIBLE HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...IN EXCESS OF 12 INCHES...ARE
EXPECTED ESPECIALLY OVER EAST FACING SLOPES OF THE FRONT RANGE
MOUNTAINS AND IN THE ADJACENT EASTERN FOOTHILLS.

What towns or cities would that include? This is for the next storm system.

Wondering what areas might be best to photograph the snowstorm.
 
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Hi Beau
There are many towns that are included this area. I would have to say if you want to really want to get good pictures of heavy snowfall in the foothills, go to Coal Creek Canyon (Verne Carlson's domain), which is in the Conifer/Evergreen/Bailey area. They always get slammed with VERY heavy snows in this type of a storm
If blizzard action on the Palmer Divide is more your cup of tea, Castle Rock, Franktown or Elizabeth are good bets. I'd be careful going too far east though; a lot of the east/roads still have large (read: 6 to 10 foot) drifts on the sides of the road left over from the last blizzard, and will definitely drift shut during this next storm and likely will be impassable for several days.
As a native familiar with the topography and orographics, I would say target either the Conifer/Evergreen/Bailey area or the Castle Rock vicinity.
If you aren't out here already, book a flight ASAP, because if this storm is as bad as they say it's going to be, they'll have to shut down the airport again. And trust me, you DON'T want to get trapped at DIA.
 
I've "chased" two snowstorms in Castle Rock, CO... I like getting as close to the Palmer Divide as possible, yet still having the luxury of nice amenities close-by (the Rockyard Brewpub, for instance!) and the Interstate being right there so I can get out quickly once they re-open the roads if they are closed. My best of the two chases was the Columbus Day storm of 2005
 
Hi Beau, I'm actually from Castle Rock. For reference, in the previous storm I recorded 27 inches in my yard although the official total from the NWS was 30 inches. In March 2003, the total was 36 as compared to about 30 in Denver.
Our elevation is 6300 ft, so you are a good 1000 ft higher than Denver. The Palmer Divide reaches 7300ft along I-25, and they normally record even higher observations than ours. However, you won't find any accommodations there as Mark mentioned. Castle Rock has all your normal hotels ( Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, ect.), plenty of restaurants, and of course, Wal-Mart. I can also attest to the good food at the Rockyard Brewery.

If you have any questions or do end up here, you can send me a private message.


Also, a few pictures from the previous storm:

The car that disappeared:
HPIM2829.jpg



The lower bar across of the fence is 3 feet high:
HPIM2820.jpg



My car:
HPIM2837.jpg
 
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Thats amazing. I live in Omaha NE, And well....missing thse last 4 storms with mostly rain is just sick...WHERE IS WINTER!
 
Wow

Awesome photos. I am in Boulder this afternoon and tonight. Going to watch the storm from here.

Might go to Evergreen tomorrow for a bit.

Those are some incredible pics you posted. Sweet.
 
Just a word of caution, a blizzard chase could be one of the most dangerous for a chaser. If I were chasing this (2,000 miles is a little far for me, or I would!) I would hunker down in a hotel and stick to the areas within a mile or two of that. From a preparedness/danger standpoint, a blizzard chase like this would rank at the same level as a hurricane - I'd have at least five days of non-perishable food and water/bevarages in my car. The potential for being stranded at the hotel would be high, almost guaranteed. Not sure how much venturing out for photos/video I would do once the storm really gets going, as one could get stuck/disoriented easily. If that happens, it could be seriously life-threatening. I'd stick to the hotel for the duration of the storm. It is definately a hurricane-like 'survival-mode' type chasing scenario - "hunker down and ride it out" chase.

Tire chains would be a good idea if you can find them in the right size. Wal-Mart should carry them.

Anyone chasing this, keep these things in mind and have fun!! Wish I was there.
 
Indeed. I'd just stay put... Boulder isn't exactly the easiest town to get in and out of during a storm. Trying to get to Evergreen, in particular, would be a nightmare (assuming you could even find a road that's open). If this storm is anything like the previous, you won't be going anywhere.
 
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