By First Alert Meteorologist Ashton Altieri

DENVER (CBS4) – Prolonged snow in the mountains has brought up to 60 inches of snow Christmas Eve. Denver had a few flurries Tuesday morning and now waits until Friday night for the first significant snow of season.

Since last Friday, Crested Butte measured exactly 5 feet of snow while Aspen Highlands was not far behind with 52 inches. Ski areas closer to Denver also have done well with 30 inches of fresh powder at Loveland and 28 inches in the last five days in Summit County at Breckenridge.

(source: CBS)

The warnings and advisories that had been in effect for the mountains were allowed to expire at 8 a.m. Tuesday but there will continue to be periods of snow in the mountains each day through Saturday. The heaviest snow will arrive on Friday and will continue into early Saturday so it will be a very snowy New Year’s Eve in the high country.

Until then, accumulation from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning will be relatively minor with 1-4 inches at most ski areas. Some favored areas such as Wolf Creek and Steamboat could get more.

(source: CBS)

All the recent snow has created a dramatic turnaround with mountain snowpack. Just a few weeks ago snowpack was approaching record lows in some parts of the Colorado high country. Since then all eight river basins have experienced huge improvement particularly west of the Continental Divide where most basins are now above normal with snowpack through the end of December.

(source: CBS)

For Denver and the Front Range, dry weather will continue through Friday afternoon but it will be chilly especially compared to the very mild days that have deiminated most of this month. High temperatures around Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins will only be in the 30s on Tuesday and Wednesday. Overnight lows will be in the teens Tuesday night.

(source: CBS)

Attention will then turn to Friday night when accumulating should reach not only the mountains, but also the urban corridor. The current forecast is for 1-4 inches of snow in the metro area after 5 p.m. Friday and before 5 a.m. Saturday.

(source: CBS)

Temperatures will also be quite chilly with overnight lows in the single digits in Denver early Saturday morning.

Meteorologist Ashton Altieri