DENVER (CBS4) – Snow will spread across most mountain areas in Colorado on Wednesday. Denver and the Front Range will remain dry as this storm passes but a second storm coming Friday should bring snow to the metro area.
Plan on winter driving conditions in the high country through early Thursday morning. The highest accumulation will stay away from the I-70 mountain corridor but total snowfall of 2-6 inches is still possible for the mountains of Summit and Eagle Counties as well as the Winter Park area. Meanwhile, mountain areas north and south of I-70 corridor including Rabbit Ears Pass, the Crested Butte area, and the San Juan Mountain are all under a Winter Weather Advisory through late Wednesday night. These areas will see a up to a foot of snow.
The new snow along with gusty winds in the mountains has prompted an Avalanche Warning to be issued through 10 a.m. Thursday. The avalanche danger is high (level 4 of 5) for all mountain areas west and southwest of Vail Pass. Falling and drifting snow is overloading a weak snowpack and setting up the potential for large, dangerous avalanches. Officials at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center have said backcountry skiing or travel on or beneath avalanche terrain is not recommended.
The storm responsible for the snow on Wednesday will stop short of bringing snow to Denver and the Front Range. The only noticeable weather change the urban corridor will experience is a lot of cloud cover as well as occasionally gusty winds mainly on the west side of I-25.
A second storm set to arrive in Colorado on Friday will also bring more snow to the mountains. But the center of the storm will track at least 100 miles farther south compared to Wednesday’s storm which means Denver and the Front Range could see snow. As of early Wednesday morning, the CBS4 Weather Team expects nothing more than a relatively brief period of snow in the metro area in the afternoon and/or evening on Friday. Any accumulation will be minor.