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Thornton, Colorado, USA
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Winter storm arrives in Colorado; Heavy snow expected in Thornton

Friday, March 19th, 2010 5:48am MDT
Weather warnings in effect as of Friday morning. (NWS)

Weather warnings in effect as of Friday morning. (NWS)

Update, 3:50pm: The snow keeps flying and the wind keeps blowing! Just about the time you think the snow is going to ease up Old Man Winter lets it fly yet again.

How cold and wet is it?  It is cold and wet enough to have frozen our anemometer (wind sensor).  So if you are wondering why we aren’t registering any wind, you know why!  🙂 

Snow continues to fall across much of the Front Range but it is heaviest in and near the foothills. A quick sampling of storm reports shows Thornton has recorded 4.5 inches, Arvada 6.0 inches and Boulder 9.4 inches. Click here for the complete listing of snowfall reports.

We are looking for the snow to gradually decrease from north to south. However, until it does this evening we will see periods of moderate to heavy snowfall. Total accumulations by the time the storm ends around midnight will range from a few inches out by DIA to 5 to 10 inches closer to town and 7 to 14 inches near the foothills.

The winds are picking up a bit this afternoon as well and that is creating blowing and drifting snow. Visibility may be limited on the roadways so please use caution. Most main roadways continue to be everything from wet to slushy but periods of heavy snow coupled with wind may cause conditions to deteriorate.

The Winter Storm Warning will continue to be in effect until midnight tonight.  Remember that a Winter Storm Warning means hazardous winter weather conditions are imminent or highly likely. Significant snow accumulations are occurring or expected. This will make travel very hazardous.

As always, stay tuned to ThorntonWeather.com for truly local weather for Thornton. 

You can also signup to receive the latest weather alerts and forecasts via email here.

Update, 1:15pm: The snow seems to ease off a bit in some areas but then it picks right back up.  Thankfully thus far it isn’t sticking to the main roads although those closer to the foothills are seeing some accumulation on them.

For this afternoon, things will gradually begin to shift to the west and the foothills. Look for the heaviest areas to be from Fort Collins south along the foothills through western Boulder and Jefferson Counties. Some of those areas may see in excess of a foot of snow.

In Denver and other areas east of the foothills, accumulations won’t be as significant. We are looking at total accumulations of 4 to 7 inches with the lower amounts being further east.  As of this writing, ThorntonWeather.com has recorded 3.7 inches.

The snow will continue to taper off this afternoon from the northeast to the south with the foothills being the last areas to see the snow stop. Most places should be done by midnight.

A Winter Storm Warning does remain in effect until midnight tonight for the Front Range including Denver.

 

Update, 9:30am: Old Man Winter isn’t ready to let his grasp go on the Mile High City just yet. Snow is widespread across the entire Colorado Front Range with much of the metro area receiving at least a couple inches so far. 

A Winter Storm Warning continues and will be in effect until midnight Friday for the Front Range. Total snow accumulations will range from 5 to 10 inches for the metro area and upwards of a foot in the foothills. This afternoon’s commute is certain to be a big mess as the snow will continue most of the day before starting to taper off late afternoon into the evening. 

In the high country, road conditions continue to deteriorate rapidly. Chain laws are in effect for Vail Pass, Loveland Pass, the approach to the Eisenhower Tunnel and I-70 west of Genesee. On 285, chain laws are also in effect from Turkey Creek Canyon to Bailey. For the latest road conditions, please visit our Denver Traffic Conditions page and Colorado Road Conditions page

Much of the northern and central mountains are under a Winter Storm Warning including Vail and Aspen. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the northeastern plains and southern mountains.

Original story, 5:45am: The transition from a rain / snow mix to all snow is a bit delayed this morning but rest assured the snow is coming here soon and in fact has already begun in many areas. We continue to expect this storm to dump a good deal of snow along the Front Range and conditions will deteriorate quickly.

In the short term, snow will become more widespread across the Denver metro area after 6:00am and should be all snow by about 7:00am. ThorntonWeather.com began seeing mostly snow soon after 5:00am.  Heavy snow along the foothills from Boulder south can be expected initially and that will then spread to the east. 

Snow will continue throughout the day and we still expect to see from 5 to 10 inches total accumulation between this morning and Saturday morning. Roads are expected to become slushy at first and snow-packed as the day progresses, particularly secondary roads. Gusty winds and temperatures not even to freezing are going to add to the misery. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning that is in effect now and runs until midnight tonight. The service said that residents should be prepared for ‘harsh winter weather conditions and slow travel.’ 

Remember that a Winter Storm Warning means hazardous winter weather conditions are imminent or highly likely. Significant snow accumulations are occurring or expected. This will make travel very hazardous. 

Many kids and parents are wondering about the chances for a snow day. That is a tough call for administrators. While conditions don’t look bad now, they will be deteriorating as the day progresses. Schools will have to decide whether or not to chance it on conditions this afternoon not causing problems with buses and parents picking up their kids. 

Looking ahead, snow will continue through this evening and up until midnight or so. A few lingering showers may remain in the early morning hours tomorrow before ending before dawn. Temperatures on Saturday will remain cold with highs forecast only to be near 34 degrees. 

On Sunday we begin to warm up and should see highs near 50 under mostly sunny skies. Monday we warm up even more to near 60 and on Tuesday we see a slight chance for a disturbance to bring precipitation. 

Once today’s storm is wrapped up, we will be shifting our focus to mid-week next week. A system is expected to move across southern Colorado setting up what could be a classic spring snowstorm. These types of setups can draw up a great deal of moisture and wrap it back up to the Front Range. That is still a ways away though and a lot can change between now and then. 

At Denver International Airport, no airlines have announced flight cancellations yet but air travelers will want to be sure to check with their airlines.  Click here to view our Airport and Flight Status page.

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