Risky winter storm batters western USA as airport, highways shut down

Grant Boone
March 15, 2021

Cheyenne, Wyoming saw snow totals of 25.8 inches - smashing a previous 2-day record held since 1979, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of Texas were in recovery mode after being pounded by tornadoes and heavy storms Friday and Saturday.

Winter and spring collided Sunday as parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nebraska were blasted with up to 4 feet of snow while Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri braced for heavy rains, high winds, flooding and possible tornadoes.

The National Weather Service is forecasting that the heaviest snowfall will occur near the Iowa border in the southwestern corner of the state.

In some areas, the water content of the snow was bringing down trees and power lines.

PowerOutage.US reported about 40,000 customers without electricity in northern Colorado midday, focused in the region around Fort Collins and Loveland. An avalanche watch was also posted for the Front Range mountains in Colorado. If Denver picks up 2 feet of snow, it will be the fourth biggest snowstorm on record, and the most snow for the city since 2003, when the city picked up 31.8 inches of snow. A few mountain locations will end up with around 60 inches of snow! Interstate 80, which runs east-west across Wyoming, was also closed.

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Travel has proved challenging across Colorado and Wyoming throughout the storm.

The central United States now faces ice storm warnings, winter storm warnings and watches, and severe weather advisories as of Sunday morning.

The airport recorded nearly 50cm of snow by lunchtime.

The weather pattern will continue with another storm arriving on the West Coast by Sunday night and this storm will also travel across the country with more impactful weather coast to coast this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, saying it expects 18 inches to 24 inches of snow to fall in Denver and Boulder from Saturday afternoon to Sunday night.

By 8 p.m. MST on Saturday, the snow was already starting to pile up.

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