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When and how much? What to expect as wintry weather moves into Denver and the Front Range

Posted at 3:19 PM, Sep 06, 2020

UPDATE (12:50 p.m., Monday, Sept. 7): We have a new and updated story with everything to expect from Monday’s heat and wind, to the cold front moving in, to the snowstorm and remaining cold into Wednesday. Click here for the latest.


DENVER -- The Front Range is in for a dramatic weather shift come Tuesday morning. Record-breaking triple-digit temperatures will be replaced with wintry weather and possible record cold Tuesday into Wednesday.

A Weather Action Day has been issued, and a winter storm watch was issued by the National Weather Service for Denver and the Front Range for the snow arriving on Tuesday.

The powerful cold front that will be bringing the quick shot of winter weather to Denver and the Front Range will begin to make its presence known late Monday as gusty winds bring in much colder air.

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Temperatures will drop dramatically through the morning hours on Tuesday with values in the mid-30s by 6 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. In addition to the cold temperatures, ample moisture over the foothills and areas west of I-25 will help to increase snow development during the morning hours.

According to the NWS, confidence is growing that areas along the I-25 corridor and into the eastern suburbs of Denver could see accumulation mainly on grassy surfaces and vegetation.

Here are the possible snow totals we are expecting from this storm:
3”-6” for metro Denver and Front Range
6”-8” the Palmer Divide toward Castle Rock
8”-12” U.S. 285 toward Conifer, Bailey
10”-14” from Evergreen to Georgetown and west of Boulder

Denver's earliest snow of the season came Sept. 3, 1961, when a Labor Day storm brought 4.2 inches to Stapleton Airport and dumped nearly a foot in the western suburbs and foothills.

According to the weather service's daily histories, there's no mention of snow on Sept. 4-7.

On Sept. 8, 1962, Denver saw its earliest freeze of the season when temperatures dipped to 31 degrees. But still, no snow.

The next mention of snow is found in the entry for Sept. 12, when snow fell in 1974 and 1989.

A snow on Tuesday would be Denver's earliest in the last decade, by a longshot. Last year's first snow came Oct. 10, and the earliest in the last 10 years was Oct. 5, 2012.

Denver's average first snowfall is Oct. 18.