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Winter storm warning for Denver area, foothills; snow expected during evening commute

4-8 inches of snow expected for metro area; 6-12 for foothills
denver snow snowplow
Posted at 11:07 AM, Feb 16, 2022

DENVER – A winter storm warning is in effect for the Denver metro area, the I-25 corridor and the Front Range foothills, as a snowstorm will affect the evening commute and should bring 4-8 inches to the metro area.

The winter storm warning goes into effect at 2 p.m. and last through 5 a.m. Thursday. The foothills should see the highest snow totals from this storm, about 6-12 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

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NWS forecasters said there was still some disagreement among the models Wednesday morning as to exactly how much snow will fall along the I-25 corridor. Some models keep most of the heavier snow in the foothills, but some others have it spreading out to I-25 from Fort Collins to Castle Rock.

The 2:40 p.m. forecast update from the NWS Boulder said the models were still not in agreement on total snowfall, but the mountains and foothills east of the Continental Divide and plains in Jefferson and Larimer counties should see the most snow.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall between 5 p.m. and 8 or 9 p.m., the NWS said. Some areas could see locally higher amounts under certain bands of snow.

Updated forecast snow totals from 5 p.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. Thursday from the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Snow developed by 10 a.m. in the northern mountains, and it is expected to spread into the foothills and the I-25 corridor by mid-to-late afternoon. The bulk of the snow is expected to fall in the metro area between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., and road conditions could deteriorate during the commute and as the sun sets.

Wednesday evening, more cold air will move into northern Colorado and increase the upslope winds between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Snow for Denver tonight, Winter Storm Warning in effect

In Summit County, Rocky Mountain National Park, the Medicine Bow and Mosquito Range, about 5-10 inches of snow are expected. Winter weather advisories are in effect for those areas and other parts of the mountains.

The heaviest snow will taper off Wednesday night, but light snow will persist into Thursday morning. Highs will reach the mid-30s Thursday in Denver and move into the mid-50s this weekend ahead of another likely snowstorm early next week, though the details of that storm are still developing.

Statewide snowpack was 92% of median Wednesday ahead of the storm. The Laramie and North Platte and Upper Colorado Headwaters basins were both at 100% of median Wednesday.

The South Platte and Gunnison basins were both slightly above median levels, at 103% and 104% of median, respectively.

co_swepctnormal_update (13).png
Median snowpack levels across the eight river basins in Colorado as of Wednesday.

The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan (89%), Yampa and White (86%), Arkansas (84%), and Upper Rio Grande (83%) basins were all below median levels to start the day.

Eighty-eight percent of Colorado is experiencing moderate drought or worse, while only 8.5% of the state is seeing extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For more on February weather historically in Denver, click here.

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