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Spring warmth, then mountain snow

Weather Forecast

DENVER (KDVR) — Temperatures will run 10 to 15 degrees above normal Sunday and Monday, with mid to upper 70s for highs, making for a nice, spring start to the week.

The warm sunshine will be mixed with mountain wave clouds developing on the lee of the Divide and spreading over areas west of Denver, keeping it a bit cooler under the shadow of that overcast.

Otherwise, temps may reach greater than 80 degrees in the eastern plains. It’ll be a bit breezy in the plains this afternoon, with gusts to 30 mph, while the High Country could see winds past 45 mph. Those winds tomorrow kick up to 40 mph in the plains with gust as high as 60 mph in the mountains.

It’s all ahead of a system Tuesday night, set to spread more welcome rain to the lower elevations along and east of I-25 and snow in the High Country. While rainfall totals will likely range from 0.25 inches to 1 inch, the average snow totals look to range from 6 to 12 inches in the east-facing foothills and mountains of Clear Creek, Park, Boulder and Larimer Counties with a few spots above 11,000 feet catching 12 to 24 inches. (Liquid rainfall equivalent in those snowy areas could exceed 2 inches, so it’s likely to be a very wet snow, potentially upping mountain avalanche danger on slopes greater than 30 degrees.)

In Denver, rain may mix with or even change to snow late Tuesday night — especially from Lakewood to Morrison to Arvada and Boulder, but as this system looks to be a little warmer, it should effectively stay, “all rain” in the urban corridor, with wet roads and happy lawns and gardens the biggest impact.

That’ll be followed by slow warming temperatures from the 50s and 60s late week, to the 70s and near 80 degrees by next weekend.

It’s all welcome precipitation, as parts of the Front Range region remain under moderate to severe drought, with extreme to exceptional drought — the worst kind — across much of western Colorado. There are areas of Colorado for the first time in almost a year, free from drought (for now) across Boulder and Larimer Counties.

This is excellent news for reducing our local wildfire danger, as we head into the warmer and drier months of summer. Let’s hope this trend of massive drought recovery continues so our region can avoid another unrelenting fire season.

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