Fire and ice across Colorado within just 48 hours

Mother nature is pulling a 180 across Colorado.

After highs in the 70s, lows are dropping to near 30. High winds and high fire danger will be replaced with several inches of snow.

Red flag warnings have been in effect across most of the mountains and foothills, as well as the plains east of the mountains in the southern half of the state.

On Wednesday night, cold air moved into the state from the north, pushing temperatures below freezing. Rain showers are expected to change over to snow early Thursday morning.

Models show the heavier snow could reach the Denver metro area either on Thursday morning or around noon on Thursday.

While the varying models show a range of snow totals, the National Weather Service said the Front Range Urban Corridor and Palmer Divide should expect between 2 and 5 inches of snow; people on the plains should expect a trace to 2 inches; those in the foothills are looking at 4 to 8 inches; and people in the mountains should expect between 6 and 12 inches. The National Weather Service said trees that have not gone dormant and already lost their leaves could suffer broken branches.

As the snow moves out on Thursday afternoon, bitter cold and wind will move back in as skies clear overnight into Friday. Denver’s forecast low is in the teens and could break the record low for Friday of 22 degrees, set in 1946.

But the chilly weather won’t stick around too long. Highs this weekend in Denver will be back into the 60s, forecasters said.