DENVER — The weather will remain fairly quiet tonight and Tuesday, but a major winter storm will roar across Colorado on Wednesday.
Skies will be partly cloudy in Denver and across eastern Colorado through tonight and again Tuesday morning, while snow showers fall in the mountains. Accumulations in the mountains will be only an inch or two through midday Tuesday.
A powerful storm will spin out of Arizona and swirl across northern New Mexico and eastern Colorado late Tuesday through Wednesday night. This storm will bring rain and thunder, heavy, wet snow and very strong winds as it tracks to the northeast.
Avalanche danger remains a concern in the mountains. Recent heavy snows and strong winds extreme avalanche conditions over most of our mountains. Although avalanche mitigation work has helped, the new storm will increase the danger again.
The storm will first bring mild air to eastern Colorado. High temperatures on Tuesday will be in the 60s across much of the plains, with some readings near 70 degrees in southeast Colorado. Denver should see a high near 60 degrees, with mid-to upper 50s for Fort Collins and Greeley. Some scattered showers and thunderstorms may develop in the late afternoon.
Windy and colder weather will arrive Wednesday. A BLIZZARD WARNING is in effect for the plains from just east of Denver to the Panhandle of Nebraska from Noon Wednesday through 6 AM Thursday. Heavy snow, very strong winds and extreme blowing and drifting will close roads and highways in the warned area!
Denver and other Front Range cities will be just to the west of the blizzard conditions, but can expect some difficult winter weather. Snowfall will likely be in the 4 to 8 inch range for the I-25 Corridor, although heavier in Douglas County and along the Palmer Divide. Snow amounts on the southeast side of the Denver Metro area will be in the 8 to 12 inch range, but the blowing and drifting will be the biggest problem.
In the mountains, new snow amounts will be 8 to 12 inches for most areas, with some locally heavier amounts. The main snow will fall from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon.
By Thursday, the storm will have caused numerous road closures across the northeast plains - some roads in eastern Aurora will be closed in the morning. Snow will diminish as the storm will be racing to the northeast away from Colorado. Snow showers and winds will diminish, but it will stay chilly. Highs will be in the 30s on the plains and 20s in the mountains.
Friday through the weekend will be dry with a warming trend.