DENVER — This weekend's winter storm can't get here soon enough.
But when it does, we should see a good amount of snow, from the northeast plains to Denver to the High Country, where wildfires continue to rage.
After a slight warmup early Saturday, another cold front will dip into Colorado on Saturday night and into Sunday morning, bringing a projected 4-8 inches of snow to much of the Denver metro area and higher amounts to the west and northwest.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Denver on Sunday for gusty winds and up to 10 inches of snow. Expect snow to fall all day Sunday with temperatures in the 20s for afternoon highs. Snow will continue into Monday.
Colorado snow totals, radar, weather streaming on your TV
Here's the most recent snowfall projections from the National Weather Service in Boulder, for Saturday night to Monday morning — note the highest snowfall projections, in dark red, are in the same general area of the East Troublesome Fire.
And some local forecasts:
Boulder: 9 inches
Estes Park: 10 inches
Fraser: 8 inches
Fort Collins: 7 inches
Vail: 8 inches
Denver: 7 inches
Fairplay: 8 inches
Castle Rock: 6 inches
While heavy snowfall in the north-central mountains won't guarantee to put an end to the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires, the precipitation will surely give firefighters a spell of relief and allow crews to fight the fires more directly.
The East Troublesome Fire exploded this week, growing about 100,000 acres in a day across Grand and Larimer counties, forcing evacuations in Granby and Estes Park.
Before Saturday's cold front, though, crews face more warm, dry weather in the mountains and gusty conditions ahead of the front. Winds could gust up to 50-70 mph along the Berthoud Pass and 20-25 along mountain valleys, creating critical fire conditions again, according to the National Weather Service.
This could create rapid fire growth, though the relative humidity should be better Saturday than we've seen this week. When the snow begins Saturday night, up to a foot could fall in some areas of the mountains, and the snow should stick around into Monday, according to the weather service.
A Red Flag Warning is in place for Saturday. Cloud cover and smoke drifting in from fires outside the area reduced the winds across the fire area on Friday. Snowfall is expected to begin around 11:00 p.m. on Saturday with estimates between 4-6 inches of snow.