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Blizzard hammers Colorado

Awful driving conditions
Posted at 5:10 AM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 17:24:01-04

DENVER — A powerful storm is hammering Colorado with heavy snow, hurricane force winds and cold temperatures!

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A blizzard warning is in effect until Midnight Thursday for areas including Denver, Aurora, Greeley and the south metro area. Blizzard warnings are also in effect for much of northeastern Colorado until noon Thursday. Heavy snow, very strong winds and extreme blowing and drifting are closing roads and highways in the warned area.

Between 8 and 12 inches of snow will accumulate in total along the I-25 corridor and winds of 60-70 mph are blowing in into big drifts several feet deep!

Schools and airlines have shut down announcing closures and canceled flights

Avalanche danger remains a concern in the mountains and avalanche warnings are in effect for most of the high country.

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For Denver and the I-25 corridor, the most intense part of this storm will continue until midnight on Thursday. Heavy, wet snow and very strong winds have created dangerous driving conditions and numerous road closures.

Some power outages are happening across eastern Colorado as the strong winds and snow cause transmission lines to swing, creating a phenomena called "galloping conductors." The swinging lines get close enough to each other to short out, causing the power to fail.

So far, snow totals have reached 18" in Nederland, 16" in Genessee, 13" in Apen Park, 11" in Estes Park, 8" in Evergreen, and around 4" in downtown Denver. However, with the high winds, snow totals will vary greatly through the night.

By Thursday morning, the storm will be well east of Colorado, but the problems will remain with numerous road closures across the northeast plains. Some roads in eastern Aurora will be closed in the morning. Snow will diminish to flurries as the storm will be racing to the northeast toward the Great Lakes. Snow showers will diminish, but it will stay windy and cold. Highs will be in the 30s on the plains and 20s in the mountains. Winds will be gusty from the northwest at 20-30 mph.

Friday through the weekend, the weather will improve greatly with sunshine and milder weather. Conditions will be dry with a warming trend. Highs will reach the low 40s on Friday under sunny skies. Saturday and Sunday will be mostly sunny statewide with highs in the low 50s on the plains, upper 30s to low 40s in the mountains.

A minor storm will bring a chance for a few inches of snow to the mountains next Tuesday, but just clouds for Denver and the eastern plains.