By Lauren Whitney

DENVER (CBS4) – A powerful spring storm is already bringing rain and snow to parts of the Western Slope and high country. We’ve even had some thunder snow in our southwestern corner. This precipitation stays west until later Thursday evening. We need this badly, the latest drought monitor shows severe drought for the Urban Corridor.

Heavy rain and snow are possible starting late Thursday night and Friday morning for the Front Range. Snow will most likely get going around 3:00 am on Friday. Winter Weather Advisories start late for 3 to 6 inches of snow for the Denver area, most possible on the south side of town. Mix in very strong winds, we’re talking low visibility. Be very careful if you have to go to work tomorrow.

South of Denver in Douglas, Elbert, parts of Adams, and Arapahoe counties will be under a Blizzard Warning for winds up to 55 mph and heavy snow. Visibility will be very low, and travel is not recommended. We’ll have whiteout conditions, please make plans to deal with these conditions. It will not be a safe commute. This area is really the bulls eye for this storm.

The mountains will get a good shot of snow too, not quite as much as the south side of Denver. Winter Weather Advisories for 4 to 8 inches of snow cover most mountain areas. You’ll also want to be careful on your mountain passes thanks to the very strong winds.

The snow will taper through the late morning, and be gone by the afternoon. We’ll be back to drier weather on Saturday, but could get more rain Sunday morning.

 

The most severe winter weather will be found along the Palmer Divide in Douglas and Elbert Counties where a Blizzard Warning has been posted.

A total of 6-12 inches of snow will combine with wind gusts up to 55 mph to create white out conditions at times. Travel along I-25 south of Lone Tree and I-70 east of Bennett may become extremely difficult if not impossible. Road closures are very possible in these areas.

Watch meteorologist Lauren Whitney on CBS4 News on weekday evenings at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 p.m. Check out her bio, connect with her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @LaurenCBS4.