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Denver expected to see its first measurable snow this afternoon

Snowfall in the mountains on Thursday is heading east and Denver is expected to receive its first measurable snow of the season.

A winter weather advisory is posted by the National Weather Service for the north and central mountains where 5 to 10 inches of snow is expected by Friday morning.

Drivers and travelers in the mountains can expect “difficult conditions” in some areas starting late this afternoon and through the night, according to the weather service.

In the metro area, afternoon rain showers are expected to turn into snow showers after 5 p.m., according to the weather service forecast.

“There have been a couple of rounds of snow over the mountains today,” said Caitlyn Menseh, a meteorologist with the NWS. “This could be the first storm of the season to bring a first snowfall to lots of areas along the I-25 corridor.”

Last Thursday there was a trace of snow at Denver International Airport, but not enough to be considered measurable, Menseh said.

Snow accumulations along the foothills by Friday morning are forecast to be up to 8 inches, with 1 to 3 inches of snow across most of the Interstate 25 corridor and the Eastern Plains.

Along the Interstate 70 mountain corridor on Thursday afternoon, roads remained mostly wet but highway snow plow crews are out and about anticipating steady and heavy snow at times, said Elise Thatcher, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

CDOT snow plow crews will be on a “full shift tonight,” Thatcher said.

Independence Pass, Colorado 82, was closed on Thursday afternoon because of snow and inclement weather. The commercial vehicle chain law and passenger vehicle traction law were put into effect on Vail Pass because of heavy snow, the Colorado State Patrol said in a 2:55 p.m. tweet.

“Expect similar conditions west of the Denver area during the evening commute,” the CSP said.

Snow will diminish across the mountains and plains early Friday morning, according to the weather service. Still, scattered snow showers are expected in the mountains off and on through Sunday, although with minimal accumulations.

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