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A shot of snow, but a tricky forecast: What to expect across Denver metro Wednesday

Posted: 12:28 PM, Feb 12, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-13 00:48:20-05
Red Rocks_Feb. 4 2020 snow_Jana Carsten

DENVER — A few miles in any direction can make all the difference in the weather you experience — or don't — in Colorado, and that's especially true with heavy banded snow.

That could be the case again on Wednesday across the Front Range, as more snow was moving into the area by early afternoon.

First off, this is not expected to be a long event, like we saw last week when it snowed more than 24 hours straight across Denver. The snow showers should clear out of the Denver area by early Thursday. But the exact snowfall projections make for a tricky forecast, as heavy bands could dump snow in some areas along the Front Range, and the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Denver metro and foothills until 11 p.m. Wednesday.

The expected snowfall amount for Denver, via the weathere service, is two inches. Across the metro, Castle Rock is expected to get three inches and Boulder about five. Here's the latest projected snowfall map from the weather service, with the darker shades of blue, indicating more snowfall, out west of Denver.

StormTotalSnowWeb (6).png

The weather service's forecast discussion late Wednesday morning said the range is 1-5 inches across the "Urban Corridor" — or the metro area up and down Interstate 25 — with higher amounts west of I-25. Some models were showing a range as wide as 0.5-8 inches for the metro, according to the forecast discussion.

So while Denver could see a couple inches, as expected, areas toward the foothills in southern Boulder and Jefferson Counties could see much more snowfall. In fact, the NWS forecast discussion early Wednesday threw out the possibility of a couple spots in the foothills getting up to 10 inches of snow.

Those ranges show how some bands of snow could over-perform, depending where you are, though those high-end snowfall amounts aren't considered likely.

The bottom line: Expect a shot of snow across the Front Range beginning Wednesday afternoon and evening, with higher amounts along the foothills.