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Colorado weather: Where, when and how much snow to expect with the late-season winter storm

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The storm that we've all been waiting for is here. It made itself known initially by creating a wall of dust that was picked up by the intense winds transporting the cold air from the north.

🌬️ Can you tell when the cold front passed?

Lots of dust, dirt and pollen were just flown about. #HereWeGo #Denver #COwx pic.twitter.com/0Uq8Gucxra

— ❄️ Rain or ☀️ Shine I'm Andy Stein (@AndySteinWx) May 20, 2022

Snow was already falling across some of the higher terrains above 7,000 feet Friday morning and it will continue to snow there all day long. The Denver metro area will have snow by the evening commute.

This storm is the perfect recipe of weather conditions to deliver the Front Range enough snow to beat the 3.9 inches of snow we got in May of 2019.

The cold front that barreled through is producing upslope winds, which create moisture. We already will have adequate moisture in the atmosphere so the upslope will only aid in creating more moisture. On top of this, the jet stream will be roaring and due to our placement under that jet, even more enhancement of moisture will occur.

The late May sun angle will hinder snow totals initially, so the heaviest snow may fall after the sun goes down Friday night.

Here's a look at the current forecast for snow totals.

Expected Snowfall by Saturday Afternoon

The Foothills from Estes Park to Conifer can expect 12 to 24 inches of snow by Saturday afternoon. Rocky Mountain National Park and some of the highest elevations will see up to 30 inches of snow. The Palmer Divide near Castle Rock and Monument should expect 12 to 18 inches. Colorado Springs, and the Denver metro should brace for 4 to 8 inches of snow.

Saturday and Sunday morning, temperatures are supposed to fall into the 20s region-wide causing a deep freeze.

Here are the latest forecast amounts for the major highways. There are some hefty totals like at Cameron Pass as there will be 19-30" there! There is high confidence in hazardous travel conditions in the mountains and foothills for this event. #COwx pic.twitter.com/1kboFrlso5

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 20, 2022

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