(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — The latest atmospheric river blasting into California with more rain and snow in what has been a historic stretch for the Golden State will impact Colorado in the middle of the week.

Snow develops Tuesday night, March 14, west of the Continental Divide, and becomes more steady into Wednesday. Because the snow is set to pick up, Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are posted for the western slope up to the Divide from midnight Wednesday, March 15 through late Thursday, March 16.

A Winter Storm Watch is up for the Sangre de Cristo and Wet Mountain ranges from Wednesday evening through Thursday, and as the storm shifts east, the impacts shift east too.

The images below show the Winter Storm Severity Index, a product from the National Weather Service (use the slider to change the image from Wednesday to Thursday). It incorporates falling snow, visibility, accumulated snow, blowing snow, flash freezing of roads, etc. to provide an idea of where winter storm impacts will be greatest. The brighter the red the higher the impact.

Given the story above, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the heaviest snow will be to our west, and some places in the southwestern part of the state could get around two feet – again!

Locally our mountains that are under the Winter Storm Watch could get near a foot by the time it’s all said and done. A north wind interacting with the terrain will play a role and help to produce the lightest snow amounts along the Arkansas River.

Warm temps Tuesday and especially Wednesday may melt the snow on the roads east of the Rockies during the day on Thursday. Areas still getting snow as the sun sets are likely to turn slick.