Forecasters expected frigid temperatures and light snow to greet Denverites on Tuesday morning following a warm, sunny weekend — a drastic swing that epitomizes Colorado’s winter weather trickery.
According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, Denver should see a high of just 13 degrees Tuesday with wind chills that could reach as low as -8 degrees — a far cry from the 60-degree weekend much of the Front Range experienced.
Around one to two inches of snow was expected to fall overnight in Denver as temperatures dropped, said Evan Direnzo, National Weather Service meteorologist.
The strong cold front is expected to linger from Tuesday through Thursday, with about 3 to 6 inches of snow predicted throughout the front’s duration, Direnzo said. Wednesday is forecast to see a high of 18 degrees while Thursday shows an expected high of 25 degrees.
The snow is forecast to fall in a gradient across the Front Range, with more accumulation on the west side of town and gradually thinning out toward the east, Direnzo said.
Snow will end by Thursday morning and temperatures will gradually warm into the 30s by Friday, Direnzo said.
The Colorado Department of Transportation warned that with an extended winter storm settling over the state, drivers should be careful and expect moderate-to-heavy snowfall in the mountains through Thursday morning, with lighter snowfall over the Eastern Plains. One to four feet of snow is forecast in the central and southwestern mountains, CDOT officials said.
With heavier snow accumulations expected west of Interstate 25, CDOT officials said plows “will be out in force,” but that drivers should expect slick and hazardous road conditions throughout the state.
This winter season has been a display of extremes, NWS meteorologist Russell Danielson said.
“We’ve had both extremes this winter, which is kind of crazy,” Danielson said. “The beginning of the cold season all the way through New Year’s Eve was the driest, least snowiest on record for Denver, and then we flipped the script. From Jan. 1 through Feb. 17, we were toward the snowiest on record. We flipped it on its head toward the better, but boy do we wish that happened sooner and before the Marshall fire.”
Several Front Range locations are topping the NWS list for the snowiest first seven weeks of a year.
Boulder saw 45.7 inches of snow from Jan. 1 through Feb. 17 when, on average, the city receives 20.6 inches during the same time frame. The Denver/Central Park area got 28.4 inches of snow when it normally sees 11.3 inches on average during that time frame. Fort Collins, which usually receives 11.5 inches of snow during the year’s first several weeks, took a 20.9-inch coating this year.
“We’re hoping to continue the snowier trend to help with the drought,” Danielson said.
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