Red flag warnings are in effect for the Eastern Plains, and high wind warnings are in effect for the foothills toward the Continental Divide, where winds out of the west are expected to be 30-40 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 80 miles per hour. High wind warnings are also in effect for the Palmer Divide area.
High Wind Warnings are in effect for the Front Range mountains and foothills today for gusts up to 80 mph. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect this afternoon and evening for critical fire danger. Please avoid burning. #COwx pic.twitter.com/Z9yZ0PEsgk— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) March 29, 2021
The high winds are expected to persist in the foothills until around 4-6 p.m., depending on elevation, before the cold front moves through. The snow is not expected to begin in the Denver area until late Monday.
Denver International Airport said just before 3:30 p.m. that it was experiencing some delays because of winds gusting up to 55 miles per hour. An airport spokesperson said the delays could reach 90+ minutes.
Attn travelers: Anticipate delays due to high winds of around 55 mph 💨— Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) March 29, 2021
Winds are expected to gust up to 55 miles per hour on the plains, which combined with dry conditions led to the red flag warning.
The cold front is moving from Wyoming to the southeast and is expected to enter northeastern Colorado around 5 p.m. before winds die down and cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels move in to Colorado.
That front will bring snow to the foothills and Front Range, including the Denver metro area. Light snow is expected in this storm, though only between a trace and 3 inches are forecast for much of the metro area, with the highest totals expected in the west metro area and foothills. About an inch of snow is expected in Denver.
The National Weather Service said some locally higher totals of up to 5 inches could fall in some of the areas of Clear Creek and Summit counties.
Temperatures in Denver will reach close to 70 degrees on Monday ahead of the cold front, which will knock temperatures down to the high 20s by early Tuesday morning.
Exactly how much snow falls at Denver International Airport in the storm will have a bearing on Denver’s record books. So far this month, 32.5 inches of snow have fallen at the month – tying March 2021 for the second snowiest March in Denver history and putting it tied for fifth in terms of all-time snowiest months in the city.
But the airport is unlikely to move into first-place in terms of snowiest Marches, as the current record was sent in 2003, when 35.2 inches of snow fell. If Denver receives 1.3 inches of snow, it would tie April 1933 for fourth in terms of all-time snowiest months.
Temperatures will stay in the 30s in Denver on Tuesday and will dip into the low 20s overnight into Wednesday but will warm to near 50 on Wednesday afternoon before moving back into the 60s and 70s for the next week or so, according to forecasts.