Latest Colorado snowfall totals, timing of the storm and weather-related road closures

·4 min read

Note: This isn't the latest story. Get Saturday updates here.

ORIGINAL STORY: If the snowfall with our approaching system is as impressive as the cold front that rocked Northern Colorado on Thursday evening, we are in for a memorable May snowstorm.

The weather station at Christman Field in northwest Fort Collins on Thursday evening set a record for largest temperature drop in the station's 26-year history. Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., the temperature dropped 26 degrees, from 82 degrees to 56 degrees, in 15 minutes and dropped 29 degrees in 30 minutes, according to Russ Schumacher, state climatologist.

That cold front will be met by easterly upslope winds Friday, resulting in some impressive snowfall totals, according to the National Weather Service.

Here is the latest on the storm:

DIA flight cancellations piling up

If flying out of or into DIA today and tomorrow, you might want to check with your airline carrier.

As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, there were 197 total cancellations at DIA, according to FlightAware. It is unknown how many of those are due to weather.

Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake boat ramps closed

Due to inclement weather, all boat ramps at Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake are closed through Saturday, according to Larimer County Department of Natural Resources' Twitter account.

Ramps are expected to reopen Sunday.

Fort Collins forecast

Friday: 90% chance of precipitation during the day with a high near 43 and north-northwest wind 10 to 14 mph, gusting to 24 mph. Rain and snow showers will turn to all snow after midnight with 1 to 3 inches of snow possible. Low around 30.

Saturday: 60% chance of snow showers before 1 p.m. with new snow accumulation of less than an inch possible, then decreasing chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy with a high near 48 and north winds 5 to 9 mph becoming south. Low around 28.

Road closures

U.S. Highway 287 northbound is closed from the Wyoming border to Laramie, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

For Colorado road conditions, visit www.cotrip.org/home

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Timing of the storm and impacts on travel, trees, power lines

There is a winter storm warning for much of the northern mountains, foothills and I-25 corridor, including Fort Collins, Friday into Saturday and a freeze warning for much of the Eastern Plains.

Snow will fall in the mountains, a rain/snow mix is expected in the foothills and rain is forecast for the I-25 corridor throughout Friday and into Saturday.

The mountains and foothills will likely start seeing snow-covered roads by Friday evening, but the worst driving conditions will take place Saturday morning into Saturday night with extreme travel conditions by then, according to the weather service.

I-25 drivers could see slush on the roads Saturday, but travel along that stretch is not expected to be greatly impacted.

Eastern Plains roads are not expected to be impacted.

There is a significant threat of damage to tree branches from the heavy snow from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday in the mountains and foothills.

There is an elevated threat to tree damage along the I-25 corridor starting at midnight Friday and a significant threat to power lines by 6 a.m. Saturday.

A look at forecast snowfall totals

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Boulder said snowfall totals with May snowstorms are difficult to predict because a small temperature difference can make a big difference between rainfall and snowfall amounts and warmth of the ground can reduce accumulation.

It's why you will see a wide range for a given location.

That didn't stop them from forecasting these snowfall totals Friday into Saturday:

Fort Collins: 2 to 8 inches. On the National Weather Service probability snowfall forecast chart, the city has an 82% chance of more than inch of snow, 74% chance of more than 2 inches, 56% more than 4 inches, 39% more than 6 inches and 25% more than 8 inches

Red Feather Lakes: 12 to 18 inches

Estes Park: 12 to 18 inches

Rustic: 13 to 23 inches

Cameron Pass: 19 to 30 inches

Gould: 13 to 21 inches

Walden: 8 to 15 inches

Boulder: 6 to 8 inches

Denver: 5 to 11 inches

Idaho Springs: 16 to 23 inches

Eisenhower Tunnel: 16 to 25 inches

Vail Pass: 12 to 19 inches

Freeze warning: How to protect your trees, vegetables, flowers and sprinkler system

Reporter Miles Blumhardt looks for stories that impact your life. Be it news, outdoors, sports — you name it, he wants to report it. Have a story idea? Contact him at milesblumhardt@coloradoan.com or on Twitter @MilesBlumhardt. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado weather forecast snow totals, storm timing, road closures