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Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedTue, 22-Oct-2019 10:10am MDT 
 

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Winter storm bears down on Thornton; Snow and arctic cold prompt warning

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 7:25am MDT
A Winter Storm Warning for snow and blowing snow will be in effect for Thornton. (National Weather Service)

A Winter Storm Warning for snow and blowing snow will be in effect for Thornton. Click the image to view our Winter Weather Briefing page. (National Weather Service)

Update, 1:10pm – A lull in the storm.  Snow will taper off for just a little bit this afternoon before picking back up before rush hour. 

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect and the National Weather Service is forecasting 5 to 10 inches total accumulation of snow.  In Thornton we have recorded 1/2 inch so far and in the end we will likely be at the lower end of the forecast range. Click here to view the latest storm reports.

As expected the real story is the temperatures.  Thornton hit its high temperature today of 32.5 degrees at 1:52am and it has all been downhill from there.  With winds around 10 mph gusting to 20 mph wind chills have now dipped into the single digits. 

Original story, 7:25am – The snow and cold are running a bit behind but they are on their way.  Thornton and the rest of the Denver metro are set to get our first winter storm of the season and a Winter Storm Warning has been issued.

A Winter Storm Warning for snow and blowing snow will go into effect for the Denver metro area at 9:00am and run through 6:00am on Friday.  The storm system is pushing its way through northeastern Colorado and as it does temperatures will plummet and snow will begin to fall.

Look for the snow to gradually start this morning with the heaviest period being late this afternoon and into tonight.  Total snow accumulations in Denver are forecast to be in the 5 to 10 inch range.  Here in Thornton we will likely be on the lighter side of that range.  The Front Range foothills and Palmer Divide may see up to a foot.  

The snow that initially falls will likely melt due to the warm ground however as temperatures drop roads will become icy and slick.  Extreme caution should be used, particularly late this afternoon and into tonight. 

While we are looking at a decent bit of snowfall, there isn’t a lot of moisture in this system.  As a result look for the snow to be light and fluffy.  This will make it easy to shovel but when winds pick up it creates a blowing snow hazard and visibility may be impacted. 

This sets the stage for near blizzard conditions, particularly in open areas to the northeast.  The National Weather Service has indicated a Blizzard Warning may be issued in some areas later today if conditions warrant.

Temperatures are the other big aspect of this storm system.  The mercury will be dropping throughout the day and by 5:00pm it will be down to 14 degrees with overnight lows approaching zero. 

The winds, coupled with the bitter Arctic cold, will create dangerous wind chill conditions.  Late afternoon will see wind chills near zero and overnight they will dip to near 15 degrees below zero. 

Anyone planning outdoor activities or traveling needs to be prepared.  Ensure you have adequate clothing and emergency supplies.  For more information be sure to check out our Winter Weather Preparedness links below. 

Airlines and Colorado Department of Transportation prepare for storm

With a storm like this travel of almost any form is impacted and area agencies are gearing up.  The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said they would have 72 snowplows ready to roll with another 27 in reserve.  Click here to view our live road conditions page for the state and for a local look, check our Denver traffic page.

At Denver International Airport (DIA) airlines began waiving fees for passengers wanting to change their travel plans.  Continental, United and Frontier all said they were expecting delays and possibly cancellations from the storm and were operating accordingly. Our Airport & Flight Status page has details.

Winter Weather Preparedness

Intro Winter Weather Preparedness Week
Part 1 Winter travel safety
Part 2 Watches…warnings…and advisories
Part 3 High winds
Part 4 Wind chill temperatures and hypothermia
Part 5  Avalanche safety
Review  Winter Weather Preparedness Week review

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