DENVER (CBS4) – A storm moving into Colorado on Wednesday will spread rain and then snow over the Front Range. Accumulation is expected to be minor in the metro area while some mountain areas will be measuring snow in feet!
Wednesday’s storm is coming from Arizona where flooding rains are expected in the Phoenix area. Moisture will be somewhat less in Colorado particularly for areas east of the Continental Divide like the Denver metro area.
As the storm system approaches from the southwest, a cold front will simultaneously drop from Wyoming and will reach the Denver metro area before noon. Temperatures should reach around 50 degrees before falling during the afternoon and reaching the 30s by sunset.
Due to above freezing temperatures Wednesday afternoon, precipitation in the metro area will initially be rain. Then a quick transition to snow is expected by around 5 p.m. No freezing rain is expected.
Light snow is expected through the evening before tapering off overnight. Total accumulation is expected to be under 2 inches for the metro area before the Thursday morning commute with most of the snow falling before midnight.
Then additional light snow is possible during the day on Thursday and through Thursday night and into early Friday morning. Additional accumulation in the metro area is expected to be no more than a few inches for a grand total of 2-4 inches of snow for most of the metro area from Thursday night through Friday morning.
It’s a very different story in the mountains with huge amounts of snow in the forecast especially in southwest Colorado. A WINTER STORM WARNING continues for the San Juan Mountains and the Wolf Creek Pass area for 12-24 inches of snow. There is also a warning farther north for the Grand Mesa and Crested Butte area for 10 to 16 inches of snow.
For the I-70 mountain corridor, a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY continues through 5 a.m. for locations west of Copper Mountain for 6 to 12 inches of snow including around Vail/Beaver Creek and Aspen/Snowmass. For the mountains of Summit County, Winter Park, and the Rocky Mountain National Park region, amounts will be less with 4 to 8 inches above 9,500 feet.
The new snow arrives just as six more ski areas open over the next week in Colorado.