By First Alert Meteorologist Ashton Altieri

DENVER (CBS4) – A large storm moving from California to Colorado on Thursday will bring deep powder to the Colorado high country through Christmas weekend. Denver will get nothing more than a possible rain shower Friday.

The heaviest snow in the mountains will fall Thursday night into Friday morning with the deepest accumulation staying west of Vail Pass and also around the Rocky Mountain Nation Park region. These areas will likely be measuring snow in feet by Saturday morning.

There is a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains west of Vail Pass from 11 a.m. Thursday through 11 a.m. Saturday for 12 to 24 inches of snow. Isolated higher amounts are also possible for Colorado’s western mountains. There is also a Winter Storm Warning for Rabbit Ears Pass and the mountains surrounding North Park from 2 p.m. Thursday through 5 a.m. Saturday for 12 to 36 inches of snow with the highest amounts in Park Range.

(source: CBS)

For the mountains closer to Denver, there is a Winter Weather Advisory for the I-70 corridor between Georgetown and Copper Mountain for 6 to 14 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 50 mph. Travel conditions will deteriorate throughout the day on Thursday and travel is not recommended along I-70 Thursday night into Friday morning. The intensity of the snow will become less on Friday but icy and snowpacked roads will be found throughout the high country and travel will continue to be slow.

(source: CBS)

For Denver and the Front Range, the only chance for moisture will come on Friday when a few showers may be able to overcome a strong downsloping flow and survive long enough to bring the urban corridor a quick shower. Temperatures should be too warm for snow below 6,000 feet and therefore it would be rain on Friday – if the metro area manages to get anything at all! The chance for rain will end before midnight Friday night and Christmas morning will be dry along the Front Range.

(source: CBS)

Temperatures will also remain mild for Denver and the Front Range through the holiday weekend with 60s again on Thursday and then 50s for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The normal high temperature in Denver on Christmas is 43 degrees so Saturday will be more than 10 degrees warmer than normal.

Meteorologist Ashton Altieri