Gusty winds and high fire danger have been the main concerns for lower elevations of Colorado, but that is about to change. A strong storm system will swirl across the state in the next 48 hours, bringing heavy snow to the mountains and a mix of rain and snow to Denver and the eastern plains.
Snow will begin in the mountains tonight, with 3 to 6 inches possible above 10,000 feet by Friday morning. A mix of Winter Storm Warnings and Snow Advisories cover most of the Colorado high country. Periods of lighter snow will continue on Friday and then the snow will increase again Friday night through Saturday morning. Total storm accumulations will be 12 to 18 inches.
Denver will stay mostly cloudy, but dry tonight and Friday morning, with rain showers developing in the afternoon. Over the eastern plains, showers will develop early Friday and increase throughout the day with some thunderstorms also possible.
Colder temperatures Friday night will cause the rain to mix with or turn to snow in Denver and along the I-25 Corridor. Snow may accumulate to 3-6 inches by Saturday morning for elevations above 6,000 feet. Downtown Denver will have a mix of rain and slushy snow overnight Friday and Saturday morning, but most of the snow will melt.
The storm will slowly wind down on Saturday with the precipitation ending and some clearing possible over the northwest half of the state by late afternoon. Total moisture from this storm will be .50" to 1.00" for the Denver area with 1 to 2 inches of liquid in the mountains and over the eastern quarter of the state.
The skies will clear Saturday evening and Sunday should be a delightful day with sunshine and warmer weather. Highs will rebound to the low to mid 60s in Denver Sunday afternoon. Monday will be partly cloudy with a few late day showers and thunderstorms.