DENVER (CBS4) - Drought has jumped 16% in Colorado in just the last week so deep snow in the mountains is very welcomed. By Friday morning some of the snow should finally reach Denver and the Front Range.
A Winter Storm Warning - the first of the season for many mountain areas - continues through Friday evening for areas above 9,000 feet that are west of Vail Pass. Many of these areas already had 4-8 inches of snow by Thursday morning and should see another 8 to 16 inches of snow by late Friday for a grand total between 1 to 2 feet.
For the mountains closer to Denver including Summit County and the Winter Park area, there is a Winter Weather Advisory for at least 4 to 10 inches of snow through late Friday along with wind gusts up to 50 mph.
Travel along Interstate 70 above Georgetown will become very slow through the day on Thursday and travelers should be prepared for significant delays on most roads in the mountains through Friday.
There is also a significant concern about avalanches in Colorado. Since it has been many weeks since most mountain areas have had significant snow, the new snow will be accumulating on old snowpack which has prompted an Avalanche Watch for Thursday night and Friday for virtually all the western mountains in the state.
As of early Thursday morning, most ski areas in the state had already measured at least a few inches of snow.
For Denver and the Front Range, there will be one opportunity for snow which will be Friday starting during the morning commute and ending by around lunchtime. Accumulation will be limited but some neighborhood around Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins could get up to 1 inch of snow. It's also possible some areas on the southwest side of the metro area could get slightly more than 1 inch. Regardless, impacts in the metro area should not be significant.
What we don't get with snow in Denver, we should make up for with cold air. High temperatures will be stuck near freezing on Friday and gusty northwest winds will make it feel even colder. Friday night temperatures will drop into the single digits and teens.
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