By Kathryn Bistodeau

For the Camera

This week in Colorado will hold unusual shifting weather, going from nearly record highs over the weekend to potential snow on Tuesday.

Labor Day weekend is forecast to hit the high 90s. With an accompanying dry wind, residents are advised to keep fire danger in mind.

Monday night and Tuesday are predicted to bring in a cold front that could drop temperatures to below freezing.

Local meteorologist Matt Kelch said the cold air mass moving in Monday night may mix with a developing storm system, and, “The result could be the first real snow for the Front Range mountains and places like Estes Park and Nederland.”

Jim Kalina, from the National Weather Service in Colorado, said if it does snow, that will most likely happen Tuesday morning or early afternoon. On Monday evening, he said, “The temperatures will drop quite a bit, and we’ll probably have some rain.”

In the past few decades, snow in September in Boulder and Denver has been inconceivable.

However, according to Kelch, “in Boulder, for example, the season’s first measurable snow occurred in September about 25% of the time between 1898 and 2000.” In 1961, Denver got 4 inches of snow on Sept. 3.

Don Weakland is the owner of The Flower Bin, a garden center and nursery in Longmont. He said this cold snap won’t affect perennials, and most of their annuals are indoors. As far as protecting plants from the odd cold weather, Weakland says snow could be a good thing. “The snow on these plants really protects them from the freeze,” he said.

The freezing temperatures could be dangerous for some plants, but they can be covered and insulated with sheets or blankets. “We sell a protective blanket, but I think we probably sold out by now. First thing this morning, everybody was coming in and buying them,” he said.

“It’s really hard to say,” if cold snaps like this will continue through the fall, said Kalina. “A lot of times, we’ll see something like this, and it does snow; then you can get a month or two where it’s mild and dry. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was something like that.”