After a long holiday weekend unofficially capping off a hot, dry summer, Colorado Springs residents should be prepared to greet winter Tuesday.
Snow is predicted to clear the air of wildfire haze and smell from the Cameron Peak fire in northern Colorado and blazes burning outside the state. But the storm will bring with it high winds, low temperatures and slick roads.
The precipitation is predicted to start as rain and then turn to snow during the day as temperatures plummet. The high Tuesday is predicted to be 36 degrees, a precipitous drop from the record-setting high of 97 Sunday.
Warm ground temperatures make it difficult to predict how much snow could accumulate, but up to 5 inches could fall in town Tuesday and Wednesday, said Pamela Evenson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo.
"It is difficult to say how much you might see sitting on the ground at one time," she said.
Those who live near Monument Hill could see 6 to 9 inches of snow and Teller County residents could get up to a foot, she said.
Other mountainous areas of the state could receive more than a foot of snow from the cold front moving down from Canada, she said. Monarch Pass west of Salida is predicted to get 12 to 18 inches and the eastern San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado could see 2 feet of snow, Evenson said.
The predicted low temperature of 27 degrees Tuesday night could damage crops and outdoor plumbing, according to the National Weather Service.
High winds are also possible with gusts up to 35 mph during the day Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 9 a.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday for Colorado Springs and southern El Paso County, warning of slippery roads and tree damage from the high winds.
Wet weather could linger through Thursday.
Warmer temperatures and sunny skies are likely to return Friday. The high Friday is predicted to be in the upper 60s and the high Saturday is likely to be in the 70s, Evenson said.