Colorado to experience weather whiplash as heavy snow follows temperatures near 90

May 20, 2022, 10:47 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:15 pm

(CNN) — In less than 24 hours, Denver could go from having 90-degree weather to a potentially historic and dangerous snowstorm.

Snowfall amounts could be as high as two to three feet in the higher elevations, and up to eight inches in the city of Denver, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Boulder.

“It’s going to be quite the change over the next 24 hours, so people traveling up into the higher elevations — especially Friday afternoon and evening — really need to be prepared for those changing conditions,” said NWS Boulder Meteorologist Zach Hiris. “Anytime there’s really heavy snow like that, it can cause tremendous impacts to Interstate 70, or some of the lesser traveled highways into our higher elevations.”

Friday afternoon through Saturday morning “travel may become very difficult to impossible due to heavy snowfall on roadways,” NWS Boulder said.

Some of the lower elevations, including Denver, could potentially set records.

The forecast right now is for Denver to receive 4 to 8 inches of snow between Friday and Saturday. In Denver, the daily snowfall record for May 20 is 3.0 inches of snow and May 21 is 3.8 inches. Depending on when the snow falls, these daily records could be broken.

“This is certainly going to be an impactful storm, even if there aren’t any records,” said NWS Boulder meteorologist Zach Hiris.

The mile-high city is under a winter storm warning through noon local time on Saturday but the heaviest snowfall is expected to blanket the city Friday afternoon through the evening hours.

“Heavy snow will accumulate on tree branches and powerlines, possibly causing them to break and lead to power outages,” NWS Boulder said in their winter storm warning.

The last few weeks have been unseasonably warm in Denver, leading to a lot of new tree growth, which won’t be able to hold up to even a few inches of heavy, wet snow.

Up in Denver’s foothills, even more snow is forecast, which means the storm’s impact could be more widespread.

“In the foothills, where we’ve got one to two feet of snow in the forecast, there could be some pretty significant tree damage. Also, power outages — whether that’s from trees falling on the power lines or just the power infrastructure itself not being able to handle the snow load,” said Hiris. He added, “That’s really a big concern for us — not only for the Denver Metro, but for most of our foothills.”

Avalanches could also be a concern, as new snow falls on partially melted snow from the recent warm weather in the Colorado mountains.

This late-season snowstorm will be accompanied by a surge of bitterly cold air. Temperatures will plummet from a high temperature of 88 degrees on Thursday to highs barely getting into the 40s by Saturday.

Record morning low temperatures are also possible Saturday and Sunday morning, with temperatures forecast to be in the upper 20s.

A freeze warning is also in effect for the region as “unseasonably cold temperatures Saturday morning may kill sensitive vegetation or unprotected outdoor plumbing,” according the the NWS Boulder office.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

FILE - Abortion rights demonstrators attend a rally at the Texas state Capitol in Austin, Texas, Ma...

Paul J. Weber, Associated Press

Texas Supreme Court pauses lower court’s order allowing pregnant woman to have an abortion

The Texas Supreme Court has put on hold a judge’s ruling that approved an abortion for a pregnant woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis.

14 hours ago

Las Vegas police stand near the scene of a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Thursda...

Elizabeth Wolfe, Taylor Romine, Jay Croft and Alaa Elassar, CNN

‘Target list,’ ammo and conspiracy theories: Authorities reveal details on gunman who killed 3 UNLV faculty members

The 67-year-old career college professor who fatally shot three faculty members this week at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, kept a “target list” of faculty at the school and elsewhere, said authorities searching for a motive.

16 hours ago

Ryan O'Neal
circa 1975: American actor Ryan O'Neal, star of the 1970 tearjerker 'Love Story'. (Phot...

Dan Heching, CNN

Ryan O’Neal, star of ‘Love Story’ and ‘Peyton Place,’ dead

Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal, star of several landmark films including “Love Story” and “Paper Moon,” has died at age 82.

20 hours ago

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio checks tomato plants inside the International Space Station in October 2...

Jackie Wattles, CNN

Tomato lost in space by history-making astronaut has been found

Perhaps nowhere in the universe is a fresh, ripe tomato more valuable than on the International Space Station, where astronauts live for months at a time subsisting mainly on prepackaged, shelf-stable goods.

21 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in ...

Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Hunter Biden is indicted on 9 tax charges, adding to gun charges

Hunter Biden has been indicted on tax charges in California as a special counsel investigation into the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son intensifies against the backdrop of the 2024 election.

21 hours ago

KinectAir makes use of "empty leg" repositioning flights which would normally not carry passengers....

Julia Buckley, CNN

Uber-style private airplane trips are here – and flights cost from $111

KinectAir aims to make the skies friendlier to regular people dipping their toe into the world of private planes.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Colorado to experience weather whiplash as heavy snow follows temperatures near 90