Denver weather: Rain showers in metro area with heavy snow in mountains

Rain is on the way for Front Range cities, and the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Colorado’s mountains, where up to two feet of snow was expected Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday.

In metro Denver, residents likely will face rain showers starting Tuesday afternoon, with possible thunderstorms Tuesday evening, weather service forecasters said. The high temperature in Denver will be 52 degrees, forecasters said, and temperatures likely will decrease to 33 degrees Tuesday night before more rain falls on Wednesday.

“Below 6,000 elevation — pretty much all Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins — we really are not expecting much in the way of snow. We’ll see probably less than an inch of moisture in all those areas. It will probably be just rain in those areas,” NWS meteorologist Russell Danielson said.

It’s a matter of temperature, Danielson said. Above 6,000 feet, “that’s where the rain will change to snow, and it probably will be heavy in some locations,” he said. “It will just be too warm and moist for snow in the Denver metro area.”

The heaviest snow is expected in the mountains at elevations higher than 8,000 feet above sea level. However, meteorologists said one foot or more could fall in the foothills west of the Interstate 25 corridor.

On Tuesday night, up to one foot of snow likely will fall along the Palmer Divide between Denver and Colorado Springs. The rates of snowfall could be intense with up to 2.5 inches falling within an hour, according to the weather service.

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