Thursday's storm will bring a mix of rain and snow to Denver, but areas west and south of the city may see more accumulation and hazardous driving conditions by Thursday evening.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the line between areas that will see snow versus rain changes between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, which includes much of the Front Range. This means total snow accumulation or precipitation type is difficult to forecast, the NWS said.
However small, snow is likely in Denver, even if the temperature remains above freezing, the NWS said. This will mean lots of melting on roads.
Multiple Winter Weather Advisories are in effect across the state as the storm moves in.
As of Thursday at 11 a.m., the cities of Evergreen, Georgetown, Westcreek, Central City, Idaho Springs, and Bailey — as well as other areas in Jefferson County, Gilpin County, Clear Creek County, northeast Park County and west Douglas County — were under a Winter Weather Advisory. A mix of rain and snow is falling Thursday, which will turn to all snow by the afternoon. Accumulations will likely reach 3 to 7 inches.
Roads may become slick and dangerous later Thursday afternoon or evening.
This advisory ends at midnight.
In addition, a Winter Weather Advisory for Rocky Mountain National Park, the Medicine Bow Range, Summit County mountains, the Mosquito Range, and the Indian Peaks is in effect until 9 p.m. Snow may become heavy at times in these areas, with accumulation expected between 4 and 9 inches, the NWS reported.
Winds may reach 40 mph which, combined with snow, may make travel difficult on roads, including the Thursday evening commute.
Additional Winter Weather Advisories are planned for Thursday afternoon.
The alert goes into effect from 2 p.m. Thursday through 2 a.m. Friday for northern El Paso County, the Pikes Peak area, Teller County, the Rampart Range, Elbert County, and central and east Douglas County.
Anywhere between 2 to 7 inches of snow will fall in these areas, with more possible at higher elevations in the Rampart Range, the NWS reported.
The storm will bring wind as well, with gusts between 40 and 45 mph, according to NWS.
Travel may become hazardous between blowing snow, slippery conditions and snow-packed roads Thursday evening through Friday morning.
Lastly, the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains will go under a Winter Weather Advisory from 5 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Friday with total accumulations between 7 and 10 inches. This region may also see slick and snow-packed roads through Friday morning.
This system isn't sticking around long — by Friday morning, skies will clear statewide and the sun will melt snow. The temperatures jump back into the 60s around Denver for the weekend.