Colorado weather: Winter storm to dust Denver, central mountains with snow before Christmas

Tennyson Street on a very cold and snowy morning. Nov. 25, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Tennyson Street on a very cold and snowy morning. Nov. 25, 2023.

The chance for a white Christmas in Denver and other Front Range communities remains high, according to the National Weather Service. 

A winter storm system is expected to develop over the north-central mountains starting Saturday evening. Metro Denver and Colorado Springs have the greatest chance of snow accumulation overnight Saturday through Sunday, Christmas Eve.

Snowfall totals are preliminary. But current NWS models show the storm dropping between four and ten inches in the mountains ahead of the Christmas holiday. 

Denver and other communities along the I-25 corridor could see one to four inches, said Frank Cooper, a forecaster with NWS. 

“It generally looks like light snow, but maybe along the Palmer divide, they could see up to six inches,” Cooper said. 

High temperatures for those areas will hover around freezing through the holiday, which should make any snow accumulation stick around in the mountains and Denver through at least Christmas Day, Cooper said. 

Areas farther south and west, like Pueblo and Grand Junction, have a lower chance of snow. Temperatures will hover in the upper 30s through the holiday.

The Colorado Department of Transportation warned drivers of potential delays ahead of the storm.

“Travel impacts due to slick roads could be greatest across central, western and southern Colorado and the San Juan Mountains Saturday and Sunday,” the department said in a statement. “Snow is also expected across eastern Colorado Saturday night.” 

The department plans to deploy plows and crews throughout the storms to clear roads for holiday travelers. 

“Should the weather get severe, there is the possibility of road closures,” CDOT said. 

Denver International Airport urged weekend travelers to monitor their flight status online, and arrive earlier due to high traffic forecasts through the airport. Roughly 600,000 ticket holders are expected to pass through the airport through Dec. 26. 

“Passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before their scheduled boarding time and be prepared for longer lines,” the airport said in a statement. 

Denver had a semi-white Christmas last year. But the city went through a four-year dry spell before that, according to NWS records

This year is shaping up to see flurries, Cooper said. 

“Probably just some light snow I would think on Monday, on Christmas morning,” Cooper said. “But yeah, there should be some on the ground.”