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Colorado Weather: Dangerous winds, a strong cold front, and heavy mountain snow on the way

Colorado weather: Red Flag Warnings in place through Monday before cold and snow by Tuesday
Colorado weather: Red Flag Warnings in place through Monday before cold and snow by Tuesday 02:53

Very active weather will continue to impact Colorado through Tuesday night with an abundance of different weather hazards. The mountains will experience heavy snow. The Eastern Plains will have dangerous wind gusts and critical fire danger. Denver and the Front Range will get a taste of everything with First Alert Weather Days on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday's First Alert Weather Day is for windy and warm weather that will again raise the threat of a wildfire starting and spreading quickly. Southwesterly winds will gust over 50 mph at times and of course, everyone is asked to avoid any outdoor activity that could produce a spark.


There is a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger has been posted for virtually every area along and east of the I-25 urban corridor. It's an unusually large Red Flag Warning for February.


The fire danger will abruptly end Monday evening and will be replaced with a quick return to winter.

Tuesday will also be a First Alert Weather Day but for a very different reason. A strong cold front will arrive from the northwest in the morning and will cause temperatures to stay in the 30s all day. The front will also produce moisture, likely in the form of cold rain, in the morning followed by slushy snow in the afternoon. Roads in the metro area will initially be too warm to support snow accumulation, but they could get cold enough to be slick instead of just wet before the end of the Tuesday evening commute.


For the mountains, a Winter Storm Warning starts at 6 a.m. on Monday and continues until 11 p.m. on Tuesday. The heaviest snow will fall from Monday night through Tuesday afternoon and it will be enough snow to cause major travel issues in the high country including along the I-70 mountain corridor.

Total snowfall for most mountain areas in Colorado including the mountains of Summit County will be 12 to 24 inches making it one of the bigger storms this season. Anyone planning to travel in the mountains on Monday and Tuesday should be prepared for the possibility of major delays.


For the Denver metro area, snowfall is generally expected to be minor (1 to 2 inches) but a few areas could experience a heavier snow band which could produce up to 4 inches of snow. Weather models on Sunday suggested heavier snow could be directly over Denver, but that could easily change.


Regardless of how much snow the metro area receives on Tuesday, much drier and calmer weather will develop on Wednesday and will continue through most of next weekend. Wednesday morning will be the coldest morning in a couple of weeks for many areas.

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