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Thornton, Colorado, USA
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Major snowstorm starts to hit Thornton, Blizzard Warning issued

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 6:02am MDT
A Blizzard Warning is in effect for all of eastern Colorado, including Thornton.

A Blizzard Warning is in effect for all of eastern Colorado, including Thornton.

Thornton and Denver are preparing for what will be its biggest snowstorm of the season today as the National Weather Service has now issued a Blizzard Warning for all of eastern Colorado.  The major storm we had been watching in recent days is now arriving over the Front Range and snow is starting to fall and will become widespread by 7:00am.  Initially the snow will melt as it hits the ground but as it gets heavier, it will begin to accumulate.

March is our snowiest month and this is setting up to be a classic late winter / early spring storm with lots of Pacific moisture and a Canadian cold front dipping down from the north.  Winds are now starting to come out of the east and northeast providing the required upslope conditions that will slow the storm down and hold it over the Front Range.

Between noon and about 9:00pm the snow will be at its heaviest as will the wind which will cause significant drifting and road travel will become treacherous – the afternoon rush hour is almost certainly going to be a big mess.  Road closures are likely to happen at some point later today, particularly south and east.  Areas along the Palmer Divide, the foothills and the south metro area will have the most snow with lower amounts as you move north.  The Denver metro area can look for snowfall totals between 8 and 16 inches while there could be up to two feet of snow in areas south and west.

Remember, a Blizzard Warning means that severe conditions are expected and winds can gust in excess of 35 mph coupled with significant snowfall.  Visibilities may be reduced to a quarter of a mile or less and travel will be extremely dangerous and is discouraged.  Be sure you are prepared if you do travel and should you get stranded, stay with your vehicle – do not head out and seek help!  Going through these storms is always a major task.  We ask that you please be careful if you are on the roads and if you have folks in your area that need a bit of help digging out, lend them a hand.

Since January, Denver has had 15% of its normal precipitation and for the snow season we are at a mere 41%.  While the snow will be troublesome, we are truly in need of moisture so this is a welcome sight in some respects.

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