DENVER — Ready or not, snow is on the way.
And the various forecasts and models and projections are in agreement that we're likely in for a steady, multi-day storm.
Snow started falling across Colorado's Front Range, including Denver, and into southern Wyoming on Saturday around noon. The storm is likely to dump snow through the weekend before clearing out of the area on Monday morning.
MORE: Live updates for the March 12-14, 2021, Colorado snowstorm
But if you know Colorado weather, you know nothing is certain. We could see some changes to the timing of the storm and how much snow falls where, especially if the storm pushes further to the north.
MORE: Storm timeline | Forecast | Live News Stream | Live Weather Stream | Weather Page | Traffic Map | Radars
So let's walk through, generally, what you can expect — and when — as we head into the weekend, according to our Denver7 forecast and the National Weather Service in Boulder.
Earlier forecasts suggested we could wake up to heavy snow on Saturday morning, but that snow was delayed and started around 11 a.m. Saturday
[7:50AM Update] Yes, only light drizzle and flurries are across the metro right now.— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) March 13, 2021
Yes, the snow is still coming. Expect widespread moderate to heavy snow by midday, continuing through the afternoon and evening. #cowx pic.twitter.com/imQs4TW4Ma
Heavy snow fell for a few hours late Saturday morning and in the early afternoon before it became lighter later in the afternoon. Ground temperatures caused some early melting, but the ground temperatures are expected to cool as snow continues to fall, especially as the snow ramps up after dark.
On Saturday night, the storm will see its strongest upslope flow and snow ratios are expected to increase, meaning heavier snow will likely fall. Read more about how upslope flow will impact this weekend's storm.
The NWS said Saturday morning they were keeping their snow total forecasts mostly unchanged from Friday, meaning 12-24 inches in the metro area, with higher totals in the foothills and mountains, with lower totals east of Denver.
“Impacts will remain the same with very difficult to nearly impossible travel conditions today and tonight in the Winter Storm Warning areas,” the NWS said.
The National Weather Service said the heaviest snowfall is likely to occur between 11 p.m. Saturday night and 11 a.m. Sunday. The storm will likely start to wind down Sunday night.
Denver7's Mike Nelson explained what's happening with the storm, as of 6 p.m., and what we can expect the rest of the weekend:
While heavy snow continued dumping over northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, there was a lull in snow in the Denver area after about 7 p.m. Still, heavy snow was expected to pick back up after 10 p.m. and continue through the night and into Sunday.
First batch of moderate to heavy snow was moving out of northern portion of I-25 Corridor. Another round should move into the area after 10 pm. #cowx pic.twitter.com/QhLhaQOsXb— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) March 14, 2021
The NWS said Saturday morning that the low pressure system is likely to move into southeast Colorado Sunday morning, bringing upslope flow to the northeast part of the state and continuing snow.
The highest accumulations on Sunday will be along the Front Range foothills and nearby plains, but the uncertainty about how much snow will fall grows the further east one goes.
“Overall the current forecast is in good shape and don’t plan on making many changes to Sunday with still some uncertainty across the plains,” the NWS wrote Saturday morning. “…In this point in the game, steady as she goes and try and do no harm to ongoing forecast.”
The snow will likely start diminishing on Sunday night into Monday morning.
The snow is expected to taper off through Monday, with temperatures nearing 40 degrees and the possibility of some sun before another chance of snow on Tuesday.
Track the storm and snow totals in real time by watching the Denver7 24/7 weather stream: