Warm Wednesday followed by cold front bringing 50-degree temperature drop, snow

DENVER -- Highs Wednesday will push 80 degrees, causing high wildfire danger before a strong cold front hits about 6 p.m.

The front will bring gusty 40 mph winds across the Front Range.  Light snow will follow overnight.

A Pinpoint Weather Alert Day has been issued for Thursday.

Temperatures will drop like a rock overnight. A freeze warning goes into effect overnight with lows in the low 20s for Denver, Boulder, Loveland and Fort Collins.

Related: Where will this big temperature drop rank in Denver weather history?

Overall, three hard freezes are ahead. It will be the first freeze of the season. The average first freeze in Denver is Oct. 7.

Snow continues off and on Thursday, with a brief moderate band of snow midday. One to 3 inches of snow are expected for the Front Range, with 50% melting.

At least .01 inches of snow must be recorded at Denver International Airport for it to be considered the first snow of the season in Denver. The average first snowfall for Denver is Oct. 18.

Read more: When does Denver usually have its first snow?

The foothills will receive between 3 and 6 inches of snow. The mountains and ski areas will see between 4 and 8 inches of snow.

Temperatures plummet into the single digits by Thursday afternoon and night. Mountain valleys could see below-zero temperature readings.

The roads will cool and slick spots will be possible, especially during the afternoon commute.

Snow forecast with some melting for the Front Range. Meteorologist Chris Tomer.

Snow ends Thursday afternoon and tapers off in the mountains Thursday night. Skies then will clear.

Full list: What days ski resorts plan to open this season

Record lows are likely Friday morning. It will be 15 degrees in Denver, breaking the old record of 22 degrees set in 1946.

Friday looks sunny with a high of 45 degrees. Another hard freeze is likely Saturday morning at 25 degrees.

Saturday and Sunday will be sunny with highs in the 60s.

7-Day Forecast. Meteorologist Chris Tomer.

Check Colorado interactive radar and zoom in to where you are. Plus, check the radar anytime with the Pinpoint Weather App for iPhone and Android.

Pinpoint Weather has been independently certified as Colorado's Most Accurate Forecast by WeatheRate.

We're tracking Denver weather today on FOX31 and Channel 2 News - and when conditions are bad we send out the Weather Beast.

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