First winter storm of the season on the way for eastern Colorado
After weeks of relatively warm fall days, an abrupt change is ahead as the first blast of winter is set to appear across eastern Colorado this weekend. A winter weather advisory is in place for much of eastern Colorado, while a winter storm warning is in effect for the central mountains, stretching to the northern front range and Denver metro area.
Colder, well below average temperatures are expected to spread across southern Colorado starting later Saturday. Rain and freezing drizzle are possible for portions of the southeast during the afternoon as temperatures fall, changing to snow overnight into Sunday. Ice accumulation up to 0.05 inches is possible.
Snow began in western Colorado and mountain areas overnight Friday, and is forecast to spread to the eastern foothills and plains Saturday.
A surface low is expected to develop near Pueblo by midmorning Saturday. A southerly flow will draw moisture into the area, while colder air drops in from the north.
As the cold front drops across the plains by late afternoon – bringing the coldest air so far this season - rain is expected to change to snow. That could produce icy roads, making travel slow and potentially dangerous.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is urging drivers to be prepared for the first major storm of the season, and is offering tips and advice to be ready for snowy and icy roads.
Most of the southeast plains can expect to see one inch of snow or less. Up to a foot of snow is possible in Denver, while some mountain areas could see as much as 18 inches of new snow.
Temperatures through the weekend will be well below highs in the 70 experienced earlier in the week. Highs in the 30s are predicted for Saturday, with overnight lows in the teens and 20s. Sunday, temperatures will struggle to move above the freezing mark before falling to the low teens.
A warmup is expected to start Monday, with warmer and drier conditions in place by Wednesday and continuing through at least Friday, with daytime temperatures returning to the 60s in the run up to next weekend.
With the onset of the first significant winter storm of the season, the National Weather Services offers a few reminders:
- Stay off the road during snow
- If you must drive, slow down, don’t use cruise control, and increase distance between vehicles
- Have an emergency kit in your car
- Don’t forget about your pets – bring them indoors