Despite sunny skies, temperatures stay well below freezing Friday

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DENVER —  Don’t be deceived by the sunny skies!The weekend in the metro area will get off to a very  cold start Friday with an afternoon high of 20 in Denver, 16 in Greeley and 18  in Fort Collins.

Sunshine will also shine in the mountains in the wake of the big storm but highs will only reach single digits and teens.

New snow hits the Mountains on Saturday evening continuing through Sunday into Monday but skiers will have to deal with strong winds.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the chance exists for high, damaging winds from Denver to Castle Rock to Golden to Boulder to Fort Collins.  Sustained winds of 40-50mph with gusts to 60mph.  Foothills locations may see gusts to 90mph.

Avalanche Danger: All the recent snow in the mountains has prompted an Avalanche Warning. The deep fresh snow is sitting on top of old snow and is unstable.  Plus the wind that accompanied our latest storm caused slabbing of snow which is also hazardous.  So, bottom line, stay out of the back country.  If you plan to ski do it at one of the resorts or groomed ski areas.

Warming Up: We are expecting sunshine on Friday which will start a trend of quiet weather through Monday. Temperatures will reach the 20s on Friday, 30s on Saturday and then hit the 40s & 50s for Sunday and Monday which will get a lot of melting underway.

Airlines canceled 145 flights at Denver International Airport, and Pena Boulevard was icy and snow-packed Thursday morning.

Several schools called off classes on Thursday because of the snow and cold temperatures. Several businesses and government offices were delayed or closed because of the storm.

The storm led the National Western Stock Show to cancel Thursday’s annual Stock Show Parade down 17th Street in Denver because of the risk of injury to people and animals. It will not be rescheduled.

Storm resources:

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