Gov. Jared Polis and state officials on Thursday asked Coloradans to stay home, if possible, during this weekend's snowstorm, which is expected to bring multiple feet of snow to some areas of Colorado's Front Range, including areas of the Denver metro.
"Stay at home and don't venture far in your vehicle," Polis said at a news conference.
Officials said the most intense parts of the storm will likely come Saturday into Sunday, and the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service aligned with that guidance.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials on Thursday said the agency was re-allocating plowing resources to help clear roads during the storms, but they asked drivers to stay off the roads as much as possible. Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard said authorities will increase staffing in areas of higher concern. Packard urged Coloradans to prepare their vehicles for the storm, such as packing extra clothing, food and water.
Snow could fall as much as one inch per hour in some areas of the Denver metro this weekend.
The NWS said Boulder and Fort Collins could see rates of about 2 inches per hour during that same time period. Snow is expected to linger into Saturday night and Monday morning before ending around noon on Monday, though wind gusts could also pick up on the plains on Sunday.
The National Weather Service said Thursday the Denver metro area should still expect 15-25 inches of snow, with 20-30 inches in the Boulder and Fort Collins area, 2 to 4 feet in the foothills, and up to 5 feet in some places in the northern foothills.
“There is high confidence in the impacts for the urban corridor and foothills with nearly impossible travel conditions Saturday night and Sunday,” the NWS wrote in Thursday’s forecast discussion.
The impending storm has led to the cancellations of some COVID-19 vaccine clinics this weekend. Polis asked anyone with an appointment to call ahead to see if their clinic is cancelled. Still, Polis said vaccine distribution should likely not be delayed due to the storm, which is expected to move out of the area Monday.
Track the storm in real time, including snow totals and updated forecasts, on the First Alert 5 Weather stream, which can be viewed on the KOAA News5 app or here: