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Thornton, Colorado, USA
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Update: Winter Storm Watch upgraded to Warning as storm quickly approaches

Monday, April 8th, 2013 12:45pm MDT

A very dynamic weather situation unfolding for northeastern Colorado over the next 36 hours.  While there is still a good deal of uncertainty, we do expect to see a healthy shot of snow tonight and into tomorrow.

First up are mild temperatures today.  As of this writing Thornton is at 61 degrees on our way to a high in the mid-60s.  There is a chance for scattered thunderstorm development after about 3:00pm.  Most the activity will be on the eastern plains though where large hail and tornadoes will be a threat.

Following the more traditional spring thunderstorms is a winter-like storm system.  The National Weather Service has upgraded the Winter Storm Watch to a Warning for the Denver metro area including Thornton.

The warning is for snow and blowing snow and is in effect from 9:00pm this evening to 6:00pm Tuesday.  The service is calling for 6 to 11 inches of possible snowfall for the area as latest model runs do indicate a slight southward shift to the storm’s track.  What path the storm follows will be crucial to how much snow we see as will the timing of the change from rain / snow to all snow.

The full text of the warning is below the image and you can click here for the latest watches / warnings in effect.

As we have said, there is still a great deal of uncertainty with this storm system.  However we do think it is possible Thornton could see 5 to 9 inches out of the storm.  Some locally higher amounts may be possible, less if the track trends back further north.

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER/BOULDER CO
1119 AM MDT MON APR 8 2013

…STRONG SPRING SNOWSTORM STILL ON TRACK TO IMPACT NORTHERN COLORADO TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY…

.A STORM SYSTEM WILL MOVE TOWARD THE FOUR CORNERS AREA TONIGHT AND THEN TRACK SLOWLY EAST OR NORTHEAST ACROSS SOUTHERN COLORADO AND INTO EASTERN COLORADO DURING THE DAY TUESDAY. A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL DROP SOUTHWARD ACROSS THE PLAINS LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING WITH MUCH COLDER AIR AND UPSLOPE FLOW BEHIND THE FRONT. AS A RESULT…RAIN SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL CHANGE TO SNOW ALONG THE FRONT RANGE THIS EVENING AND THEN OVER THE EASTERN PLAINS LATER TONIGHT. THERE MAY BE A PERIOD OF BRIEF BUT VERY HEAVY SNOWFALL THIS EVENING ALONG THE FRONT RANGE WITH NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. THEN STEADY AND MORE WIDESPREAD SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER MOST OF NORTHEAST AND NORTH CENTRAL COLORADO FOR MOST OF TUESDAY. THE SNOW COULD LINGER OVER THE EASTERN PLAINS THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING.

NORTH WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH AT TIMES WILL PRODUCE CONSIDERABLE DRIFTING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH POOR VISIBILITIES. THE STRONGEST WINDS THIS EVENING ARE EXPECTED TO OCCUR ALONG THE I-25 URBAN CORRIDOR…WHILE ON TUESDAY THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL SHIFT TO THE EASTERN PLAINS AND PALMER DIVIDE WHERE MORE SUSTAINED BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE.

THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARD TO THE EXACT TRACK OF THIS STORM. STAY TUNED TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FOR THE LATEST UPDATES AND FORECASTS.

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM MDT TUESDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DENVER HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM MDT TUESDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO
LONGER IN EFFECT.

• TIMING…SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO QUICKLY CHANGE TO SNOW BY MID TO LATE EVENING. THE SNOW MAY BE VERY HEAVY FOR A COUPLE HOURS THIS EVENING AND THEN DECREASE SLIGHTLY
OVERNIGHT. THE SNOW WILL LIKELY BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES AGAIN BY TUESDAY MORNING AND CONTINUE THROUGH MOST OF THE DAY.

• SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…6 TO 11 INCHES.

• WIND/VISIBILITY…NORTH 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH. VISIBILITIES WILL DROP TO LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE AT TIMES DUE TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

• IMPACTS…VISIBILITIES WILL BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE DUE TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW. TRAVEL WILL BE DANGEROUS AS ROADS WILL BECOME ICY AND SNOWPACKED DUE TO BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND VERY COLD TEMPERATURES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

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