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Winter storm brings heavy snow to the Rockies and Denver

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  • A major winter storm is affecting the Rockies and Front Range, including Denver.
  • Several feet of snow are expected in the foothills and Colorado's Palmer Divide.
  • Denver could experience its worst snowstorm in three years.
  • March is one of the snowiest months of the year in parts of this region.

A major winter storm in the Rocky Mountains and adjacent Front Range will continue to dump heavy snow today, particularly along the Interstate 25 corridor in the Denver metro area.

This system was named Winter Storm Qadir (pronounced kuh-DEER) by The Weather Channel.

Here's a look at what's happening now: Snowfall, moderate to heavy at times, continues from the Denver metro area westward to adjacent foothills and mountains. Up to 23″ of snowfall had been reported near Aspen Springs early Thursday morning.

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Here is the snowfall expected following this storm: Several feet of snow will accumulate in the foothills and mountains west of Denver and in the Palmer Divide south of the city. The Denver area has the potential to see up to a foot of snow (locally higher), with the heaviest totals likely in the southern and western parts of the metro area. Several inches of snow will also accumulate in northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The forecast map below shows how much additional snow to expect on top of what has already fallen.

(15-Minute Details: For even more accurate tracking of weather data in your area, view your detailed 15-minute forecast in our Premium Pro Experience.)

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Here are the potential impacts: Travel will continue to be dangerous in the Colorado mountains and along portions of the adjacent Interstate 25 corridor. Avoid traveling in these areas until Friday morning.

Winds gusting up to 35 to 40 mph could produce significant drifts, even on major roads, making it difficult, if not impossible, for road crews to keep roads plowed, especially Thursday and Thursday evening.

The National Weather Service office in Boulder said the weight of this heavy, wet snow could cause tree damage and power outagesAlso.

(192 hours: further strengthen your forecast with our detailed hour-by-hour breakdown for the next 8 days – available only on our Premium Pro Experience.)

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(This index, from NOAA's National Weather Service, attempts to assess the impacts of winter conditions, taking into account factors such as snowfall, snow accumulation on roofs, ice accumulation, risk of sudden freezing and blowing snow. Not all factors are at play in a given winter storm.)

Here's how the timing of this winter storm will play out: The following maps show the general temporal progression of this system. As you can see, snowfall from the winter storm will slowly spread southward through the Rockies during this time. Snow will persist through much of Thursday before tapering off Friday in Denver.

Snow could persist through the weekend over the southern Rockies as the low pressure system eases over the region.

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The heaviest snowstorm since: This could be the heaviest snowfall in Denver in almost exactly three years, since a a blizzard hit the Front Range March 13-14, 2021. The city's official snowfall observation at Denver International Airport (DIA) measured 27.1 inches of snow during this March 2021 blizzard. Winds gusting up to 50 mph produced drifts of 3 to 7 feet, closing major highways except around the cities of Denver and Ft. Collins, according to the National Weather Service.

It was also the last time DIA captured at least 10 inches from a single snowstorm. Their heaviest snowstorm this season, so far, was the weekend before Halloween, when 7.5 inches fell on October 28-29. Curiously, Two of Denver's four strongest snowstorms on record also occurred in mid-March. and both in the 21st century.

It's on average one of the snowiest months of the year in parts of this region: March is either the snowiest month or the second snowiest month of the year in many areas of eastern Colorado, northern New Mexico, Wyoming and parts of neighboring states, depending on the The analysis below by Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider.

Denver Long-term average March snowfall is 11.5 inches (1882-2020)making it the snowiest month in the city.

Chris Dolce has been a senior meteorologist at Weather.com for more than 10 years after starting his career at The Weather Channel in the early 2000s.

The Weather Company's core journalistic mission is to report on the latest weather news, the environment and the importance of science in our lives.

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