Denver weather updates: Late season storm rolls in; Vail Pass closed

Denver weather updates: Late season storm rolls in; Vail Pass closed

Published May 21, 2022
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Brother and Sister Jason and Kristen Flores, visiting from Tampa, Fla., laugh as Jason weaves their umbrella around bushes growing over the path exiting the Birds and Bees Walk on Friday, May 20, 2022, at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Denver Gazette)

A late season snowstorm that rolled into the region Friday could bring  2-5 inches of snow to the Denver metro area and Boulder overnight.

A winter storm warning is in effect for  Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lakewood, Aurora, Arvada, Littleton, Parker, Longmont, DIA, and Brighton until noon Saturday. 

Forecasters warn that the heavy spring storm could cause broken tree limps and power outages; slick roads are expected until Saturday morning. 

Click or tap here for road conditions around Colorado.

TODAY’S UPDATES

7:30 p.m.  According to CDOT, the following closures are in effect: 

6 p.m. The National Weather Service in Boulder is encouraging people to shake the snow from trees (if possible) since broken tree branches can lead to power outages and other damage.

The snow is starting to really weigh down the trees as seen in the photos taken from our office a little bit ago. It may be wise to go shake the snow off your trees this evening if you can. Broken tree branches may lead to power outages or other damage. #COwx pic.twitter.com/Lh1SnqVomk

According to the Weather Service, heavy snow is expected in parts of central Colorado, including Denver, Castle Rock and Boulder. Snow could fall at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour into the evening and overnight. 

Heavy snow is expected for parts of central Colorado. Rates of 1-2 inches per hour are possible this evening into the overnight. A quick search of the archives shows this is the first heavy snow mesoscale discussion in the month of May since early May 2013. #cowx pic.twitter.com/fDRQZGYLYD

1:10 p.m.: Denver International Airport sent a tweet reminder those flying Friday or Saturday to check their flight status. Delays and cancellations are expected.

Colorado weather got us like 👇 If you’re flying out today or tomorrow, check your flight status w your airline before heading to DEN. Drive safely, or consider taking the RTD A-Line ❄️❄️❄️ #cowx pic.twitter.com/2sLGqXRWa1

12:12 p.m.: The Colorado Rockies game against the New York Mets, scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Friday, has been postponed. It is now scheduled for Saturday at 1:10 p.m. as the first game of a split doubleheader.

11:55 a.m.: Spring snow is often heavier than winter snow and can be damaging to trees. Denver Parks & Recreation issued guidelines reminding residents how to remove snow and manage fallen trees and branches. 

11:38 a.m.: Trail Ridge Road is closed on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park at Manny Parks Curve and on the west side at the Colorado River Trailhead.

10:42 a.m.: Several graduation ceremonies along the Front Range have moved locations due to the impending snowstorm.

7:25 a.m.: With the forecast predicting sleet and cold temperatures early Friday and snow later in the day, CHSAA announced day two of the state track and field meet will be postponed.

TODAY’S FORECAST

It’s time to break out the winter coats again.

Temps could be in the 30s late afternoon Friday and sink into the 20s overnight in Denver. A freeze warning will be in effect overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Precipitation is in the forecast before 5 p.m., with rain and snow showers expected into the evening. A winter storm warning is in effect until Saturday at noon.

New snow accumulations are projected between 3 and 5 inches Friday night, with an additional 1 to 2 on the forecast for Saturday.

Winter Storm Map from the National Weather Service.

Thunderstorms could also be in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Travelers are being cautioned about road conditions.

The National Weather Service Boulder tweeted: “The worst commute will be Friday PM into Saturday AM for the I-25 corridor. Please prepare for snow covered roads and do not crowd the plow!”

I-25 projected road conditions from the National Weather Service.

Roads in the Rocky Mountain National Park are closed as they anticipate possible new snow amounts up to 31 inches.

Here’s the forecast from the National Weather Service.

Today: Rain showers before 5 p.m., then rain and snow showers. Temperature falling to around 38 by 5 p.m. East wind 9-11 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tonight: Rain and snow showers, becoming all snow after 11 p.m. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 29. North wind 5-10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow showers before 11 a.m., then rain and snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. High near 42. East northeast wind 5-8 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 54. Southeast wind 6-8 mph.

Monday: A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 62. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

LAKEWOOD • With the forecast predicting sleet and cold temperatures early Friday, and snow later in the day, CHSAA announced day two of the state track and field meet will be postponed. 

Winter Storm Warnings continue for the Front Range Mountains/Foothills & I-25 Corridor. Freeze Warning issued for the I-25 Corridor/NE Plains 9 PM Tonight to 10 AM Saturday. #cowx pic.twitter.com/Iya6t5mx3z