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The Front Range is now under a winter storm warning that will take effect at daybreak Sunday, Mother's Day, and could leave Boulder County under as much as 10 inches of snow before it ends on Monday. The winter storm warning is not set to expire until noon Monday.

However, National Weather Service meteorologist Lisa Kriederman said that due to the warmth of the ground from today's temperatures, the 6 to 10 inches forecast through Monday could quickly look like less, due to rapid melting.

The weather service is cautioning that power outages may occur.

If the forecast holds true, the area should smash its record for snow on May 11, which was a mere .2 inches, in 2011. The record for May 12, meanwhile, is 4.7 inches, set in 2010.

"Maybe it will only amount to 3 to 5 inches, compacted, mostly on the grassy surfaces, while the streets may stay pretty slushy — a really wet and messy slushy," said Kriederman.

"Our biggest concern is leafed-out tree limbs falling on power lines, and unfortunately, (snow falling) on unhappy mothers."

Allen Masterton waits for a bus at a stop along the Diagonal Highway in Niwot on Sunday morning.
Allen Masterton waits for a bus at a stop along the Diagonal Highway in Niwot on Sunday morning. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

Speaking of mothers, and growing green things, the storm's potential impact on both was getting mixed reviews, Saturday.

"I'm guessing it's going to be kind of a mess,"

said Nick Raymond, who works at The Flower Bin Garden Center and Nursery in Longmont.

"I'm expecting a lot of returns," he added. "A lot of people aren't going to do the proper ground coverage for their veggies, and I'm sure a lot of them will die. That's my guess, at least."

In the garden center at McGuckin Hardware in Boulder, McGuckin president Barry Hight said, "A lot of people are pulling what they just put in, and getting them out of the weather.

"We're selling a lot of pots and anything that can make a tent over the plant."

To save what's already growing, Hight said, "Try to keep them covered. It's hard because it's going to be cold three nights in a row, so you're gonna get a freeze on it."

At Snooze, an A.M. Eatery in Boulder, general manager Kathryn Derby sounded ready to make the best of what would otherwise surely be a line-around-the-block-type Sunday.

"We're just used to Colorado," said Derby. "You gotta appreciate the weather. Sometimes it's amazing, sometimes it snows. It's unfortunate, but we're ready to go, to make sure we keep all those moms nice and cozy on the inside."

Referring to celebrating mothers and the rest of Sunday's brunch crowd, she added, "We're definitely excited to take care of them no matter what."

The winter storm watch, caused by a moist Pacific system augmented by cold air from the north, is in effect from 6 a.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday, but Kriederman said snow could be falling longer than that. Precipitation should start out as rain in Sunday's early morning hours.

"It will change to snow probably somewhere tomorrow morning between nine and noon," Kriederman said. "It will start out as a wet, heavy snow, and then continue on through the day and possibly through Monday. We'll definitely be seeing some snow in the morning (Monday) and then it should start decreasing in the afternoon, and hopefully be done by Monday evening."

After today's projected high of 63 degrees, tonight brings a forecast low of 35, and some thunder is possible as the storm moves in. The chance of precipitation tonight is 70 percent.

Sunday will not only be snowy, but breezy too, with northerly winds gusting as high as 23 mph. Sunday night's low is forecast at 30. Monday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 45. Tuesday should feature clearing skies, and highs climbing to 55.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1389 or brennanc@dailycamera.com