'Heavier, wet' snow expected in parts of El Paso, Teller counties; winter storm watch issued

By: matt steiner and Lisa Walton The Gazette
May 9, 2014 Updated: May 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

People in the Pikes Peak region are due for spring-like weather on Saturday. But the sunny skies and mild temperatures may be fleeting as snow is expected to storm back into the area by Sunday afternoon.

"It's going to be a pretty chilly and snowy day on Sunday," said Patrick Cioffi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

Cioffi confirmed reports Friday that parts of Teller County and northern El Paso County could receive more than a foot of snow by the time Sunday becomes Monday. The weather service issued a winter storm watch for those areas that takes effect early Sunday morning and runs through Sunday night.

During the storm, Colorado Springs also is expected to get snow. Cioffi said precipitation in the city could begin as rain Sunday and turn to the white stuff by early afternoon. Forecasters expect up to 5 inches in Colorado Springs before midnight.

The meteorologist said people should be ready for spring-like snow that could weigh down plants and tree branches and possibly break some. The weather service also warns that the snow could cause power outages and property damage.

"It's going to be on the heavier, wet side," Cioffi said, noting that the early snow will likely just stick to grass and trees as the wet pavement should keep roads clear for a while.

Slushy roads could be a concern, especially on a high activity day like Mother's Day, said meteorologist Randy Gray. With gusts between 15 and 30 mph forecast, poor visibility on the roads could might also pose a hazard for drivers.

"It's going to be kind of a wet, blustery, snowy day," said Gray.

The snow will be quite a departure from Saturday's weather.

According to the weather service, highs should reach almost 70 degrees on Saturday for Colorado Springs before dropping into the 30s on Sunday. Teller County should see temperatures in the 60s on Saturday. But while El Paso County should have mostly sunny skies, Woodland Park and beyond could get some rain Saturday evening.

Cioffi said some precipitation could hang on Monday before warmer spring conditions return on Tuesday. He said Colorado Springs could have some rain Monday with Teller County getting a bit more snow.

Total snowfall could reach as much as 15 inches in Teller County before the storm moves out.

With temperatures expected to dip below freezing early Monday morning and possibly early Tuesday morning, people should also take steps to protect their plants from the cold, according to the weather service.

Monday's highs are expected to be in the 40s before pushing into the 50s and 60s on Tuesday.

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