DENVER — A strong cold front will bring a mixed bag of spring weather to northern Colorado on Tuesday, with some higher-elevation areas getting heavy snow and areas from Denver to the east seeing severe weather.
Colder temps, rain, snow and thunderstorms are all a possibility for the Denver metro area.
Here's what to expect, and when, via the National Weather Service in Boulder and our Denver7 meteorologists:
The cold front will get activity going Tuesday afternoon, with snow falling around 8,500 feet in the foothills and mountains and gradually dropping to lower elevations through the day and evening. The higher foothills and Front Range mountains could see 7-14 inches of snow by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. The snowfall projections were high enough Tuesday morning for the weather service to upgrade the winter storm watch to a winter storm warning for the mountain areas of the Front Range.
At the same time, strong to severe thunderstorms will develop on the eastern plains and across lower-elevation areas of the Denver metro. Stronger storms could develop along the Palmer Divide, between Denver and Colorado Springs. Severe hail will be the main threat, though there is a risk for an isolated tornado or two.
As you can see, the highest risks will be from the Palmer Divide (Castle Rock area) to the east.
The good news: Heavy rain will be expected, with a projected 1.77 inches of rain in Denver and similar amounts across the Front Range. The storm should be another boost as Colorado hopes to lessen drought conditions heading into the summer.
Track the storms in your area with the Denver7 interactive radar page.
The severe weather is expected to taper off by Tuesday evening, though snowfall will drop to lower elevations, down to around 7,000 feet. Forecasts aren't calling for much accumulation in the lower foothills, though snow could fall as low as 6,000 feet by Wednesday morning.
While the severe weather should end Tuesday, the rain is expected to hang around into Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will be too warm for snow in the foothills but the precipitation should linger until Wednesday afternoon. The weather should dry out by Wednesday night.