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More sun, warmer temps for Denver; winter weather returns in the high country

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The eastern half of Colorado will enjoy a relatively pleasant day with above normal temperatures and a good bit of sun. Up in the mountains the story will be quite different as a winter storm brings snow and wind later today.

For the Colorado Front Range most locations will enjoy mostly sunny skies and dry conditions following some early AM fog in some locations. Temperatures will be near seasonal normals in the low to mid-40s.

Up in the high country, some light snow will be possible during the day today accompanied by gusty winds. By late afternoon and into the evening snow intensity will be increasing as will the winds.

A Winter Weather Advisory will be going into effect at 6:00 p.m. tonight and run through 6:00 a.m. Saturday. Snowfall accumulations will be in the 6 to 12 inch range. Coupled with the strong winds, conditions are expected to be hazardous.

Over the longer term in the Denver area, Friday will see a day similar to today but with breezy winds. Saturday continues to look to be the warmest day of the week as high temperatures should climb into the 50s. A weak system brings just a slight chance for snow Sunday.

See the image for today’s northeastern Colorado outlook and scroll down to read the full text of the Winter Weather Advisory for the mountains. Be sure to monitor our severe weather page for details on the coming mountain storm as it gets closer,

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From the National Weather Service:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
431 AM MST THU JAN 9 2014

...MORE SNOW AND INCREASING WINDS FOR THE HIGH COUNTRY STARTING
TONIGHT...

MOIST AIR WILL MOVE FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST INTO THE NORTH
CENTRAL COLORADO MOUNTAINS BY THIS EVENING. SNOWFALL WILL BECOME
WIDESPREAD AND POSSIBLY HEAVY AT TIMES. STRONG WEST WINDS GUSTING
IN THE 40 TO 70 MPH RANGE WILL PRODUCE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND
DRIFTING SNOW IN HIGHER EXPOSED AREAS...AND THERE WILL BE SOME
BLOWING SNOW IN THE MOUNTAIN VALLEYS. SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO
DIMINISH ON FRIDAY...BUT STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS AND THE BLOWING
AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE HAZARDOUS DRIVING
CONDITIONS FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO
6 AM MST SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DENVER HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM MST SATURDAY. THE WINTER STORM
WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

• TIMING...SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL DEVELOP BY THIS EVENING AND
THE SNOW MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES TONIGHT. THE SNOW WILL BE LIGHTER
FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT...BUT STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE.

• SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...STORM TOTALS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES BY SATURDAY
MORNING...WITH UP TO 16 INCHES AROUND RABBIT EARS PASS.

• WIND/VISIBILITY...WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS 25 TO 40 MPH WILL BE
COMMON...WITH GUSTS TO 70 MPH ABOVE TIMBERLINE. THE WINDS WILL
PRODUCE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW...REDUCING
VISIBILITIES TO NEAR ZERO IN EXPOSED AREAS AT TIMES.

• IMPACTS...HIGH COUNTRY MOTORISTS SHOULD ANTICIPATE DETERIORATING
WEATHER AND ROAD CONDITIONS THURSDAY NIGHT. ROADS WILL BECOME
ICY AND SNOW PACKED...AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND ROAD CLOSURES
ARE POSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERSONS PLANNING TRAVEL INTO
THE COLORADO HIGH COUNTRY SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR HAZARDOUS DRIVING
CONDITIONS...SLOW TRAVEL...SNOW PACKED ROADS...AND POOR VISIBILITY
IN SPOTS. CHAIN LAWS WILL LIKELY BE REQUIRED FOR SEMI-TRAILERS AND
BUSES TO TRAVEL OVER HIGHER MOUNTAIN PASSES.

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