A weekend snowstorm continues to track toward the Denver area where 1 foot to 3 feet of snow accumulation is possible, especially in the northern foothills, by Sunday night.
A winter storm watch has been posted for the metro area, starting at midnight Friday and lasting through late Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. Travel across the urban corridor and foothills “may become nearly impossible Saturday evening through much of Sunday.”
Officials in Denver, and elsewhere in the metro area, are urging people to hunker down and stay at home Saturday and Sunday and not risk venturing out if at all possible.
— Denver Sheriff (@DenverSheriff) March 10, 2021
How much snow will hit the Denver area?
The winter storm watch calls for 12 to 20 inches of snow by Sunday in the Denver area with 35 mph wind gusts possible. Fort Collins, Boulder, the western suburbs of Denver, Castle Rock, and Greeley are included in the watch area. Higher amounts of snow is forecast for the northern foothills.
“We really want to emphasize preparedness,” said Kari Bowen, a meteorologist with the NWS in Boulder. “We haven’t has a storm quite this big for some time. Be prepared for it, prepare your home, prepare you car, but don’t plan getting on the road on Saturday or Sunday.”
Snowfall amounts west of the Continental Divide will be much lighter, according to the weather service. Across the Eastern Plains, snow may turn into or mix with rain at times, especially to the far south and east, curtailing snow accumulation in those areas.
Denver is “the worst location” for the snowstorm
AccuWeather refers to the upcoming storm as a “monster” for Denver, with the city getting up to two-feet of snow over the weekend, with heavier amounts to the west and the north.
“Denver is going to be in the worst location for the storm in terms of heavy snow and gusty winds,” said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.
Snowfall rates will reach 1 to 3 inches per hour at times, according to AccuWeather, and as the storm rages strong winds will gust up to 40 mph Saturday and up to 50 mph Sunday, reducing visibility to a quarter-mile or less.
Going into the stormy weekend, Denver has a chance for a mix of rain and snow on Thursday and Friday, with little chance for accumulation.
The weekend snowstorm will wind down late Sunday night and into Monday as the system exits the state.
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