Denver could see up to 8 more inches of snow Sunday as the winter storm settles in over the metro area. The slow-moving system already dumped about 6 inches since Saturday in some parts of the city, while northern Colorado’s totals were in the double digits.
The storm is expected to be more intense Sunday as it works its way along the Interstate 25 corridor, National Weather Service meteorologist Zach Hiris said.
“Now that we’re in that upslope flow we’re going to see steady moderate to heavy snow across the area,” he said.
The weather service issued a blizzard warning at 12:24 p.m. Sunday to remain in effect until midnight for the entire I-25 corridor from the Wyoming border to Castle Rock. Heavy snow and wind gusts up to 45 mph are likely to create white-out conditions, authorities said. Travel across the area will become nearly impossible, according to the weather service. Already, sections of many highways, including Interstate 70 and I-25, closed Sunday.
The snow, sometimes blasting in sideways from the wind, snapped branches with its weight, downed power lines and drifted up to 3 feet deep in spots. Visibility on many roads dropped to nothing, making it difficult for snowplow drivers to work. Tens of thousands lost power Sunday morning.
Forecasters updated their snowfall forecast at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to say up to 8 more inches of snow could fall in Denver — an increase from the maximum of 6 inches they predicted about 3:30 a.m.
Cities in northern Colorado saw more snow than Denver overnight and into Sunday morning, with reports of up to 15 inches in the Fort Collins area, according to the weather service. Northern Colorado and towns in the foothills like Boulder and Evergreen could see up to 8 more inches of snow through Sunday night. Boulder has an estimated a 52% chance of getting more than a foot of snow Sunday.
To the south, the Colorado Springs area is expected to get up to 6 more inches of snow.
The unequal range of snowfall totals is due to the storm’s north-to-south movement and its slower than expected start, Hiris said.
Buses operated by the Regional Transportation District were delayed between 15 and 30 minutes as drivers attempted to navigate the icy and snow-covered roads, RTD spokeswoman Laurie Huff said. As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the rail system had not been impacted, she said.
Sunday will become windier, too, with winds across the Interstate 25 corridor possibly gusting up to 30 mph during the storm, according to the National Weather Service. The wind gusts will also make it feel up to 15 degrees colder than the actual temperatures, which are expected to remain in the low 30s in Denver.
The storm didn’t deliver much more snow to ski areas in the central mountains than in the Denver metro, according to On the Snow. Copper Mountain received 4 inches over the past 24 hours, Vail received 3 inches and Keystone received 6 inches.