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Snow will likely make tonight's Denver commute a mess

A burst of snow moving through the Denver area between 3-6 p.m. this afternoon will make the roads a mess.

DENVER — Don't focus on the snowfall totals with this storm, Denver. Focus on the timing.

While we're only looking at a few inches of snow in Denver - if that - it'll be enough to potentially make this afternoon's commute a mess.

After a windy and dry Tuesday, snow returns to the Front Range this afternoon, and again, it could make for a messy evening commute around Denver.

Look for disruptions to the drive home from work as a burst of snow moves through the Denver area, starting between 3-6 p.m. Areas north of Denver, including Boulder and Fort Collins, could see the snow start as soon as noon.

A sharp north-to-south moving cold front will swing through the Denver area on Wednesday afternoon, dropping temperatures and increasing cloud cover. Around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the snow will start up in Denver (earlier further north), and it could accumulate in a hurry.

This could lead to snow squalls, or a burst of snow that leads to very low visibility and bad travel conditions.

The snow could come down fairly quickly at first, which could put down a fast half-to-full inch of snow by 5 p.m. tonight. That could turn roads slippery within the first hour or two of the snow falling. 

By the time the snow ends on Thursday morning, look for a general 1-4 inches of accumulations in the Denver area, with higher 4-8 inch amounts in the foothills (including Boulder) and Fort Collins.

There could be a few narrow bands of heavier accumulation just north and west of Denver. However, the city itself may end up closer to the lower end of the 1-4 inch range, with perhaps closer to 2 or 3 inches for most of the city.

If you can, avoid Denver roads after sunset (around 5 p.m.) on Wednesday. They could be very slick around then.

Credit: KUSA

After the initial burst, the snow should fall generally fairly lightly until early Thursday morning.

Additionally, this weather pattern can be tricky one to forecast, as narrow bands of heavier snowfall caused by the jet stream can lead to small areas of significantly higher snowfall totals. For Wednesday's storm, those narrow bands will likely fall just to the north of Denver. 

The snow should be gone by sunrise on Thursday morning, leaving behind a few more inches of snow along the urban corridor.

Credit: KUSA

Stay with 9NEWS for any forecast updates.

RELATED: More snow headed to the Front Range

RELATED: Blustery Tuesday, snow arrives Wednesday

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