A balmy New Year’s Eve is expected to give way to a cooler and potentially snowy New Year’s Day in Denver, the National Weather Service forecasts.
The high temperature is expected to hit 50 degrees in metro Denver Saturday with light wind and mostly sunny skies, according to the weather service. It should be a pleasant evening, seasonally speaking, for revelers planning to watch Denver’s annual New Year’s fireworks displays or attend one of the many other events and celebrations around town.
“It might be fairly mild in the evening. Temperatures might hold in the upper 20s to mid-30s in the Denver metro,” said Bob Kleyla, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder. “It could be a lot colder. Last year it snowed New Year’s Eve night.”
Meanwhile, the mountains are expected to receive heavy snow Saturday afternoon, Kleyla said. Snowfall is expected to lessen Saturday night before picking up again Sunday night into Monday with the heaviest precipitation shifting from the southwest to the Northern Mountains.
The weather service has warned of potentially hazardous travel conditions in the mountains Saturday. Slick roads and blowing snow with wind gusts of up to 55 mph could give drivers trouble on all mountain corridors including on Interstate 70 through Summit County, according to the agency.
The roads are not the only places mountain visitors should be wary this weekend. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued avalanche watches and warnings for several of the state’s mountain ranges including the Front Range.
“Expect very dangerous avalanche conditions to develop as soon as Saturday morning and last to Monday,” the agency Tweeted on Friday.
Denver’s next brush with snow is expected on New Year’s Day.
The high temperature is expected to hit 43 degrees on Sunday. Precipitation is anticipated to start after 5 p.m. and pick up as the evening goes on. Monday is forecast to be just 32 degrees with a 90% chance of snow, according to the weather service.
How much accumulation the storm will produce in the city is still up in the air, Kleyla said.
“Right now it’s really hard to tell on accumulation based on the track of the system,” he said. “Right now I would say probably 2 to 4 inches as an initial guess.”
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