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Mild in Denver now, but icy roads are on the way

Topsy-turvy temperatures
Posted at 5:09 AM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 00:48:28-05

Temperatures reached the low to mid-60s in the Denver area this afternoon, but colder conditions are on the way in the next 24 hours.

Colorado is right on the southern edge of much colder air that covers the northern Rockies and the Great Plains.  Over the next few days, there will be brief invasions of this cold air, followed by hasty retreats and then another surge of chilly air as a new cold front moves south again.

These cold fronts will bring a "roller coaster" of temperatures for Denver and the eastern plains. Mild and dry conditions with some high clouds will continue to cover Colorado through this afternoon.  

A cold front will begin to move into northern Colorado late tonight.  Temperatures will cool into the upper 40s and low 50s on Wednesday. 

There will be some light snow to the northern and central mountains starting tomorrow afternoon.  A wintry mix of flurries and freezing drizzle is likely on the plains Wednesday night into early Thursday and that should make for an icy drive Thursday morning.  

Colder air will spill across the eastern plains by Thursday morning, along with some light snow or flurries.  Accumulations are not expected to be significant, but a light dusting of snow and the freezing drizzle will make for a slick and slow commute Thursday morning. 

Conditions will improve by Thursday midday as temperatures reach the mid-to upper 30s.

This cold front will mostly impact areas along and east of the Continental Divide.  Western and southern Colorado will stay milder with highs in the 30s to low 40s in the mountains and low 50s  in the Grand Junction area and around Durango.

These fronts are coming from Canada, so they do not bring a lot of moisture - a few inches of snow for the northern and central mountains, but just very light precipitation for Denver and the eastern plains.  The most favored area for snow will be in the northern mountains around Steamboat.

The chilly air will drift to the east of Denver on Friday and temperatures will warm back into the 50s.  Over the weekend, another shot of colder air will move in from the north late Saturday.  Colder temperatures, another round of freezing drizzle and some light snow can be expected for early Sunday.

Colorado will be right on the edge of some very cold air this weekend.  Temperatures over the Dakotas and Minnesota will likely hover around zero by Sunday.  Good thing the Super Bowl is being played indoors in Minneapolis!

By Monday and Tuesday, the colder air will again ease off to the east of Colorado, but it appears that yet another cold front will arrive by the middle of next week with more light snow and the possibility of freezing drizzle.