DENVER - We are still tracking that strong system for later this weekend. We know it will bring big change to the region and Colorado, but the specifics on where rain versus snow will be are still "up in the air".
Until the storm starts to move in on Saturday we are in for relatively quiet days and nights. That storm is about to move onshore of the Pacific Northwest.
This afternoon and evening may have a very isolated thundershower, but most of the afternoon and evening commuters will see sunshine. Temperatures will stay in the 60s through 7pm.
Overnight will have a mostly clear sky, lows in the 30s for Denver and the Front Range tonight. Teens and 20s expected in the mountains.
Sunshine Friday will come with warmer temperatures. Highs will hit the 70s in the greater metro area, some 80s on the plains, and the high country will have 40s and 50s.
The wind will be stronger in the mountains Friday. That's sign 1 of the weekend system to move through. That wind will increase for Denver and the plains Saturday as the clouds increase across the state.
Warm temperatures return Saturday. Combine that with the cloud cover and we will see some thunderstorms statewide by the afternoon. We will watch these for hail, wind, and lightning (for spot fires). Although, the states east of here have a much better chance for severe storms in terms of tornado and damaging hail.
As the center of the Pacific system moves overhead early Sunday, the chance for thunderstorms will drop. We will see the temperatures drop by more than 20 degrees too.
As the temperature drops, the system will spread very heavy snowfall over the mountains -- over a foot for the north-central mountains. Denver and the Front Range will have colder rain showers and some snow mixed in for those above 6,500 feet.
The system will be slow moving so that this colder, "soupy" mix will stick around through Tuesday. This system will drop from 1/2 to 1 inch of liquid until we start to dry off by Wednesday.
This system will be so robust that it is going to create the first severe weather outbreak of the season for states east of here. Tornadoes are very likely over the weekend, as close as Kansas. Plus, the northern states like the Dakotas and Minnesota will have up to a foot of snow.
It'll be well into late week and next weekend before this system is done with the country. By that point though, Colorado will be back to quieter days.