Despite what your weather app may be telling you, a snowy system is set to impact the Denver metro and surrounding areas starting Wednesday. The storm will bring winds from the east, which will make this an upslope event—meaning that the wind will be blowing up toward the mountains. This kind of motion will greatly impact most of the foothills and adjacent plains. Because of these higher snowfall totals predicted, winter storm warnings have already been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for some areas.

What You Need to Know
Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in the Denver foothills and the Palmer Divide—an area of higher elevation between Denver and Colorado Springs. Snow will intensify Wednesday morning in the high terrain and move into lower elevations by the mid-afternoon. Denver is expected to get between 1 to 5 inches of snow, but by the time the snow stops, certain areas may end up with more than 6 inches around the metro. The heaviest of snow will be seen in the western and southern suburbs of Denver with lighter totals expected further north and east. The further north and east you live, the less you’ll be impacted by this storm.

The NWS has mentioned snowflakes could be very large, leading to heavier snow totals and reduced visibility in some snow band, so a snow squall warning could be issued depending on snowfall rates and wind speeds. If you have any Wednesday night plans, be sure to bundle up.

When It’s Happening
The cold front is expected to move through the area during the mid-late afternoon hours on Wednesday—just in time for the Wednesday evening commute (make sure to plan ahead). Snow will continue through the night, ending most likely around midnight with flurries continuing into Thursday morning as the low-pressure system continues its trek to the south. Thursday morning looks cold, with temperatures falling into the 20s, with icy and snowy road conditions, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time before hitting the roads.

By Thursday afternoon, our winds shift, and we start to clear out and warm up to the 30s and 40s. Highs on Friday jump into the 60s and possibly the low 70s for Saturday with sunshine. Typical Colorado, right?

Oh, and by the way, it looks like another storm is possible Sunday to next Wednesday with some bitter cold temps and more snow possible just before Halloween. More details on that later.

Andy Stein
Andy Stein
Andy Stein is a freelance meteorologist with experience working on both local and national television.