A winter storm is expected to sweep through parts of Colorado over the weekend, according to the Boulder National Weather Service. Between 3 and 12 inches of heavy snow are expected in Denver, Colorado and Palmer Divide, while snowfall in the Continental Divide could reach nearly 2 feet, according to the NWS.
“The rise of cold air associated with an upper deepening will spread across much of the western United States with unusually cold temperatures for the season as well as a series of heavy mountain snows, first north of the Rockies and then into the Colorado Rockies today,” the NWS said. Thursday. “The surge of cold air will cause temperatures to drop dramatically from the 90s to freezing in the central high plains where a late season winter weather event is expected to develop. Potential exists for more than a foot of snow on the higher elevations of the Colorado Rockies while accumulating snowfall in the central high plains.”
The news comes just 24 hours after extremely high temperatures hit the state of Colorado, with average temperatures checked in in the 80s on Wednesday and Thursday. Now, residents are preparing for extremely low temperatures and dangerous driving conditions.
Drivers should avoid traveling in the mountains and foothills Friday through Saturday mornings and mid-afternoons as major highways like Cameron Pass are intended have up to 19 to 30 inches of snow, in addition to a avalanche threat.
Significant tree damage can be expected where snowfall is heaviest, according to the NWS. To prepare for the storm, Colorado residents are encouraged to charge cell phones and generators ahead of time, protect outdoor plants, dress for the weather, and avoid parking or to walk under branches weighed down by snow.
According to the National Weather Service, a May snowstorm in Denver, Colorado is unusual, but not unprecedented. May’s Biggest Snowstorm took place from May 25 to 26, 1950, where authorities recorded 10.7 inches of snowfall. The average last day Snowfall for Denver is April 28, according to the NWS.
Meanwhile, across the country, the east coast and southern states areto experience one of the first major heat waves of the year, with temperatures reaching the mid-90s.