Snow, and lots of it, could sweep across Colorado Tuesday night and Wednesday

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Zack Randolph and his son, Knox, play in the snow near their home in Denver’s Speer neighborhood. Dec. 29, 2022.

Colorado’s relatively balmy holiday weekend will be but a distant memory if a coming winter storm delivers the punch forecasters predict it could this Tuesday and Wednesday.

The storm could drop more than a foot of snow in the state’s central mountains on Tuesday and will move into the urban I-25 corridor late in the day — after the evening commute if we’re lucky, said National Weather Service senior forecaster David Barjenbruch.

“We’re looking for a return to winter here and significant snow accumulations possible across a good chunk of the area,” he said.

Patches of ice remain in metro Denver from a late December snowstorm. Now Barjenbruch expects anywhere from six to 11 inches of new accumulation in north-central and northeast Colorado by Wednesday.

“The Wednesday morning commute looks pretty rough in all areas,” he said. 

The coming storm is part of the system that dumped heavy rain on California, causing widespread flooding, Barjenbruch said. He expects the snow here will have heavy moisture content and should help get most of the state’s river basins to above normal levels by time the storm moves out. 

“The snowpack numbers have come up across all the West and Colorado,” he said. “This will add to that.”

That should make for good skiing, he said, but cautioned that it could increase avalanche risk too. Backcountry skiers should check with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center first, he said.