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More snow coming Wednesday for Denver metro area, Colorado mountains

Some snow in mountains overnight, snow expected to start Wednesday on plains
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Posted at 1:20 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 18:34:07-05

UPDATE (4:30 p.m. Wednesday): We're expecting increasing snow during this evening's commute and into the night. Click here for the latest forecast.

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DENVER – While we’ll see mostly clear skies and temperatures in the upper 30s Tuesday, another arctic cold front and more snow will move into Colorado Wednesday into Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service in Boulder issued winter weather advisories for most of Colorado’s mountains and the northeastern plains, as well as a winter storm warning for the Elkhead and Park mountains and the Flat Tops, and for the Rabbit Ears Pass area, which go into effect Tuesday evening and last through Thursday morning.

The areas under winter storm warnings could see 10-20 inches of snow, according to the NWS, and winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour. The areas under advisories should generally expect 6 to 15 inches of snow, with higher totals at the higher elevations and in the Aspen, Vail and Crested Butte area.

For the areas under winter weather advisories, about 2-6 inches of snow are expected on the plains, and 6-12 inches are expected in the mountains, though there could be up to 20 inches of snow in the mountains north of Berthoud Pass, the NWS said.

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Winter storm watches are also in effect for Kit Carson and Yuma counties starting at 11 p.m. Tuesday and lasting through Wednesday night, where 4-8 inches of snow is possible.

Forecasts on Tuesday afternoon showed 2-6 inches of snow for the storm, through Thursday morning, for the Denver area, Palmer Divide, and I-25 corridor, with higher totals in the foothills west of Denver. There could also be some heavier snowfall along the Wyoming and Nebraska borders, according to the NWS.

There is likely to be some snow in the mountains overnight starting close to midnight. The NWS said the Park Range could see up to 6 inches by daybreak, and the Front Range mountains could see up to 3 inches.

A cold front will move over northeastern Colorado after midnight, which could be accompanied by light snow showers or flurries. There is also a chance of banded snow overnight over the plains closest to Wyoming, according to the NWS.

There was still some uncertainty as of Tuesday morning as to where the heaviest snow could fall over the plains, as there is expected to be banded snow Wednesday afternoon and evening, but exactly where they set up could still change.

There will be some upslope conditions that could enhance snowfall in the foothills and on the plains as well, the National Weather Service said. Light snow could last into Thursday morning before ending on Thursday afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to fall from the high 20s just after midnight Wednesday to the teens by Wednesday night, and climb only into the mid-20s on Thursday in Denver, according to the latest forecasts.

Statewide snowpack was 95% of median as of Tuesday morning. The Gunnison (109%), and San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan (101%) basins were both above median levels.

The Upper Colorado Headwaters (99%), South Platte (95%), Laramie and North Platte (94%) and Upper Rio Grande (93%) basins were all slightly below median levels.

And the Arkansas (86%) and Yampa and White (85%) basins were all further below median levels than the rest of the state.

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Median snowpack levels in Colorado's eight river basins as of Monday.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had the Front Range zone rated as considerable danger on Tuesday and the rest of the state as moderate on Tuesday. But forecasts show the avalanche danger could be higher during and after this week’s storm, with the mountains expected to receive considerable snowfall.

As of last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor release, 100% of Colorado was abnormally dry or worse, 92% was experiencing moderate or worse drought, and 57% of the state was experiencing severe drought or worse.

You can always watch 24/7 weather, radar and news updates on the free Denver7+ app on your TV.

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