DENVER (CBS4) – The first of two major cold fronts that will impact most of Colorado in the coming days arrived Thursday morning. Temperatures will stay at least 30 degrees colder in Denver compared to Wednesday but unfortunately the cold air is too shallow to the reach the mountains.

Therefore the forecast remains bleak for the higher terrain of Grand and Larimer Counties where the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires continue to burn. Temperatures will be at least 15 degrees warmer in these areas compared to Denver Thursday afternoon and the wind be just as gusty if not even stronger than in the metro area. It will also remain completely dry with zero chance for moisture in the fire areas on Thursday.

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Afternoon temperatures around Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins will only be in the 40s or about 30 degrees colder compared to Wednesday. The cold front won’t reach southern Colorado so temperatures will be warmer south of Monument. The cold front is also too shallow to reach over the Continental Divide which is why all mountain towns west of the Divide will be warmer than the urban corridor.

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The East Troublesome fire grew more than 100,000 acres in less than 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday and additional growth is expected before snow finally reaches the region this weekend. The East Troublesome fire was only about 10 miles away from the Cameron Peak fire Thursday morning and some fire officials are concerned the fires could merge before the more favorable weather finally arrives with the next cold front.

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That front is set to arrive late Saturday and should spread snow across a majority of the state by Sunday. At this time, snow accumulation in the metro area is expected to stay under 6 inches. The exact track of the storm will determine snowfall amounts and CBS4 will continue to keep you posted.

(source: CBS)

Regardless of snow totals, it is guaranteed to be bitterly cold for October with highs in the 20s on Sunday and Monday and overnight lows dipping into the single digits. Record low temperatures could be broken along with some “minimum high” records as well.

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Meteorologist Ashton Altieri