DENVER – An “impactful winter storm” will move into the Denver metro by Tuesday evening, bringing considerable snow to the area and making for difficult travel conditions along the I-25 corridor through Wednesday afternoon, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder.
The latest storm system has already started making its way through the San Juans and southern valleys of Colorado with a lull in snowfall happening between now and early Tuesday morning.
One to two feet of new snow are “not out of the question” for the San Juan mountains and another 6 to 10 inches of snow for the southern valleys are possible “when all is said and done,” NWS officials in Grand Junction said Monday morning.
Winter weather advisories will be in effect from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. Wednesday for the Gore and Elk mountains as well as the central mountain valleys, and will affect cities like Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Ridgway, Glade Park, Telluride, Ouray and Lake City.
Those in the mountains are advised to plan on slippery road conditions as travel could be very difficult due to patchy blowing snow which could “significantly reduce visibility,” especially on ridge tops and mountain passes, forecasters said.
That system will make it to the I-25 corridor by Tuesday afternoon, though forecasters warn the exact timing of it is still a bit spotty. A winter storm watch along the I-25 corridor, covering an area from Fort Collins down to just north of Colorado Springs and expanding eastward to the Nebraska-Kansas state border will be in effect from late Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon, according to the NWS.
The storm system is expected to bring heavy snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning across portions of eastern Colorado, dumping between 5 to 10 inches of snow across the I-25 corridor with isolated higher totals of up to 10 inches possible across the far northeast plains. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph, forecasters warned.
Denver’s forecast ranges from 3 to 11 inches, Greg Heavener with NOAA explained on Monday afternoon. There is a 9/10 chance the area will see more than 3 inches of snow and a 1/10 chance it will see more than 11 inches, he said.
Wind gusts won’t be a big deal in the mountains and foothills, but out east, gusts could reach 35 to 37 mph, Heavener said.
Those traveling through the mountains on Tuesday and Wednesday should start making plans as hazardous travel is expected for the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes, the NWS said, though impacts could last well into the late hours of Wednesday.
Travel conditions will start deteriorating for the Tuesday evening commute and will become moderate across the Denver metro, Fort Collins, northeast plains, the Palmer Divide and the Foothills.
“Wednesday morning might be a better day to work from home or enjoy some coffee,” the NWS said in their latest forecast advisory.
The heaviest snowfall will come Tuesday around midnight and continue through Wednesday at noon, Heavener said.
The statewide snowfall will come to an end late Wednesday and Heavener said things will start to dry out along the northern I-25 corridor by the afternoon and evening.
Another system will try to shift into our region by Friday, though the storm is currently trending weaker and further south with minimal impacts in the Denver metro area, according to the latest forecast discussion from the NWS.
Temperatures will remain in the 30s for the rest of the week and the weekend should be mostly quiet, but NWS forecasters said another potential storm is arriving near the start of next week.