Denver to Start December on a Snowy, Frigid Note

December 1, 2011; 5:48 PM ET
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Traffic was stop-and-go along I-25 northbound near the Denver Tech Center area when snow whitened the city on Nov. 2, 2011. Photo by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Heather Buchman.

November has come to a close on a mild note for Denver, but a dramatic drop in temperatures and a round of disruptive snow will usher in December.

Residents of Denver may find it hard to fathom that the return of snow comes just days after 60-degree warmth.

However, between 3 to 6 inches will turn Denver back into a winter wonderland into Thursday as a storm and frigid air from Canada plummet southward from Montana.

Similar snow totals will be recorded throughout the I-25 corridor from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Pueblo and Trinidad, Colo.

Up to 12 inches will blanket the neighboring foothills and mountains.

Travel headaches are sure to result and it is not just snow-covered roads motorists will be faced with.

Roads will remain warm early tonight following today's mild temperatures, causing the snow to initially melt on contact. As temperatures plummet and the road surface cools, any wet spots could turn icy. The snow will then have no trouble coating and making roads slick.

Gusty winds will worsen the situation for motorists tonight into Thursday by blowing and drifting the snow around.

The above map only covers how much snow will fall Thursday and Thursday night (not including snow that has already fallen over the northern Rockies).

Airline passengers will likely not fare any better. Flight delays are a strong possibility on Thursday, including at Denver's International Airport.

In addition to the snow, residents of the Colorado Front Range will have to endure an invasion of brutally colder air.

Today's 60-degree warmth will be replaced by temperatures slowly falling through the 20s from Denver to Colorado Springs to Pueblo on Thursday. Blustery winds will drop AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures to the single digits or even slightly below zero.

The winds will calm down on Thursday night, but that will allow overnight lows to plummet into the teens and single digits.

As the snow dives southward into the Southwest, a dramatic rebound in temperatures across the Colorado Front Range will not follow on Friday.

Instead, chilly air will linger and could help the stage for another snow event at the start of the weekend.

That next storm is slated to bring much-needed moisture to winter wheat areas of the southern Plains.

December is forecast to bring substantially colder weather to much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, compared to this past November.

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