Winter storm approaches
National Weather Service predicts Denver will get 6-12 inches of snow
The big show doesn’t start until late on Sunday.
A winter storm watch will take effect in the Denver area starting Monday and lasting until noon Tuesday. By the time it is done, city residents can expect anywhere from6 to 12 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
South Denver and northern Colorado Springs could experience accumulations of 12 to 18 inches of snow.
“The brunt of the snow looks like it’ll be farther south,” meteorologist Kari Bowen said.
Forecasters expected around 2 inches of snow late Saturday as temperatures drop into the 20s. The snow is expected to taper off Sunday as the temperature rises to the 30s.
“We might see a bit of a break Sunday before the next system moves in,” said Bowen.
A second, major storm system will start moving in Sunday evening and continue all day Monday, when temperatures are expected to plunge back into the 20s.
In Denver, snowfall will become heavier Monday evening and last through Tuesday morning.
Heavy snowfall also is expected in the mountains, Bowen said, with 6 to 14 inches accumulating by the end of the day Saturday.
“That’s something for mountain travelers to keep in mind this weekend,” Bowen said. “We just want people to be prepared for snowy roads.”
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center anticipates that the avalanche danger will rise through the weekend.
The Front Range, Vail and Summit counties, Sawatch Range, Aspen, Gunnison, Grand Mesa, Northern San Juan and Southern San Juan are under a special avalanche advisory that lasts until 11 p.m. Sunday.
Airlines have anticipated that the storms will disrupt flight schedules.
Frontier will allow customers who purchased tickets for flights taking off between Saturday and Tuesday to change their itineraries, as long as they bought their seats by Friday.
United Airlines has issued a similar travel waiver. Spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said the airline will allow customers ticketed to fly out of Denver between Sunday and Tuesday to change their flights without paying a fee. The airline planned to fly its full schedule out of Denver International Airport on Saturday and will continue to watch forecasts.
Southwest Airlines is holding off on canceling flights as well, according to airline spokeswoman Thais Hanson. But the airline will stick to its normal cancellation policy, which allows customers to change their flights without paying any additional fees.
January has been a relatively dry month for Denver. The National Weather Service has recorded a total of 3.3 inches of snow for the month, but those totals will grow as snow falls through the weekend.