DENVER (KDVR) — A winter storm warning has been issued for the Denver metro area, Palmer Divide, and the Front Range. The Pinpoint Weather Team has issued a Pinpoint Weather Alert Day for all day Friday and the morning on Saturday.

But what exactly is a winter storm warning and what causes it to be issued?

“Winter storm warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow or a combination of these hazards. Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve,” the National Weather Service said.

Criteria for a winter storm warning

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a winter storm warning is issued for the following conditions:

  • Heavy snow of at least 6 inches in 12 hours, or at least 8 inches in 24 hours, is expected
  • It can also be issued if sleet accumulation will be at least half an inch

How much snow will accumulate?

Pinpoint Meteorologist Chris Tomer says total snow accumulations will vary, but the biggest totals will come from above 6,000 feet. That includes the Foothills, some western suburbs, mountains, and Palmer Divide. That’s where 1-2 feet of accumulation is possible.

Forecast accumulations:

  • Denver 1-4 inches
  • Foothills 1-2 feet
  • Palmer Divide: 6-12 inches
  • Eastern Plains 1-3 inches
  • Northern Colorado 1-4 inches
  • High Mountains 1-2 feet on the Divide with less west

Here are tools that can help you stay prepared for any type of weather:

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to update the forecast multiple times each day. Be sure to download the free Pinpoint Weather App to stay up-to-date with the newest data as it comes in.