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Widespread snow expected Sunday

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Posted at 2:18 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-05 19:21:32-05

DENVER – Widespread snow is in the forecast this weekend as another system moves into the area Saturday. Light snow is expected to fall in the Denver area beginning late Saturday and will continue into Sunday.

Snowfall totals are forecast to be between 2 to 4 inches across the plains, including Denver, and 3 to 6 inches across the mountains and higher terrain before the system moves out Monday.

The National Weather Service in Boulder issued winter weather advisories for the northern and central mountains, Larimer, Weld, Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick and Phillips counties.

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The National Weather Service said the I-70 corridor between Golden and Vail, and the mountains north of there, should expected and additional 10-20 inches of snow with wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. The foothills and Fort Collins-Greeley area should see 3-5 inches of snow with wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour, while the plains further east should expect 1-3 inches of snow with similar wind gusts from the initial storm.

The Mosquito Range and Sawatch Mountains should see 6-12 inches of snow, with wind gusts up to 55 mph. For the Elkhead and Park Mountains and the Flat Tops, 8 to 16 inches of snow is expected along with wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour.

In the metro area, precipitation was light as a wintry mix and light snow fell in the area early Saturday. The forecast discussion Saturday morning said there was a few light rain showers in the urban corridor along the Front Range, but precipitation levels were less than expected.

There is expected to be a pause in snow Saturday afternoon and evening on the plains, though the mountains should continue to see precipitation. Light flurries could pick up later in the evening Saturday and into Sunday with slightly heavier amounts possible west and south of Denver and less in the northeast corner.

Most of the plains, including the metro area, should see 2-4 inches from the second round of snow, while the mountains could see 3 to 6 inches of snow, according to the NWS.

For the multi-day cycle, the highest totals are expected in the mountains from Steamboat Springs south through Summit County and down toward Aspen and southwestern Colorado, where another 5-10 inches of snow could fall Sunday.

The latest models from the NWS show 2-4 inches in the Denver area, 3-6 inches in the foothills, and 1-3 inches for the eastern plains, with the higher totals further north.

The snow is expected to end overnight Sunday into Monday in the metro area, but roads could still be slick Monday morning for the commute, and road conditions could deteriorate over the weekend in the mountains.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said Friday the mountain passes could see treacherous road conditions and that the snow will create "tricky" driving conditions in the metro area. CDOT said people heading up to ski should take extra time on both ends of the drive.

Northeast Colorado will see a break from the snow on Tuesday and warmer temperatures for a couple of days. But early models show more possible snow between Wednesday and Friday accompanied by an arctic airmass that could drop temperatures near or below zero, according to early forecasts.

“It’s too early to speculate on exact amounts but it could be a healthy snowfall,” NWS forecasters wrote in Friday’s forecast discussion.

Statewide snowpack was 92% of median Friday ahead of the storms, with seven of the eight river basins below median levels. The Gunnison basin was at 105% of median Friday, while four of the other basins were above 90% of median levels for this time of the season.

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Colorado snowpack as of March 3, 2022.

Nearly 92% of the state is seeing moderate or worse drought, and 57% of the state is experiencing severe drought or worse. Eight percent of the state – along the southern border and in northwestern Moffat County – is experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Denver7 will continue to provide updates as we track this storm into and through the weekend. You can always watch 24/7 weather, radar and news updates on the free Denver7+ app on your TV.

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