DENVER -- To reiterate the headline, "First snow chance" does not mean snowfall. Seeing flakes is snow; snowfall implies heading out with shovels or at least a broom.
In most cases, Thursday's storm will not be much of an accumulating snowfall for Denver, but surrounding areas might have enough to call it a snowfall. Denver must record 0.1 of an inch at Denver International Airport to be the first snowfall of the season.
On Wednesday night, the metro area will see increasing cloud cover and will feel strong wind. Precipitation will be developing in the mountains.
Thursday morning, the metro area will feel the wind and colder temperatures. It likely will be in the 40s and 30s for the morning commute and temperatures will continue to cool throughout the day. Hats and gloves will be good things to find for the work/school day.
By Thursday midday, clouds will be increasing to the point that precipitation will begin to fall. It's possible to have rain first, then a rain/snow mix, then snow as temperatures drop.
A good portion of the area will see precipitation, but this storm might disappoint some who don't get the moisture.
Thursday afternoon/evening will be mostly a snow chance. Temperatures will be chilly and the wind will make the cold feel moreso.
Areas of slick travel are possible on elevated surfaces and elevations above 6,000 feet. That will include Douglas, Elbert and Jefferson counties.
Interstate 25 from Denver to Castle Rock to Monument Hill might have icy buildup if the timing of the light precipitation and cold wind come together, which looks possible in time for the commute.
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On Friday morning, the system clears quickly to the east but leaves temperatures in the 30s and 40s for highs. The northerly wind will continue but will slow as the system moves farther east.
It is possible a snow band develops to overdeliver snowfall to isolated areas. Highway 36 is a popular one for just such activity in these storm patterns. Also, snowfall totals might suffer a quick melt because of surface temperatures.
There is the potential for icing that will be area-wide with the initial rain chance becoming a snow chance on rapidly dropping temperatures and stout winds.