The second of two cold storms in less than a week moved into Colorado on Sunday, continuing into the new week with snow and gusty winds.
The storm has the potential to unload a couple of feet of snow in the high country of Colorado and Utah when all is said and done, and can bring substantial snow to the cities of Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, in Colorado, as well as accumulating snow to Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming.
The storm threatens to cause travel delays and could lead to power outages.
Enough snow can fall to create slick and slow travel over the passes along I-70 in Colorado and I-80 in Wyoming through Monday.
Wyoming Department of Transportation reports that I-80 remains closed in both directions due to the snow from Rawlins to Cheyenne.
Since trees are beginning to leaf, the weight of wet snow adhering to elevated objects can bring down large branches and wires.
The windswept snow will create another hazard to motorists by reducing visibility.
Snow will continue to fall around the Denver area through Monday morning before ending in the afternoon.
This will come as quite a shock to many people after temperatures on Saturday peaked in the 60s and 70s.
Most ski resorts have closed for the season (Arapahoe Basin is still open). However, the snow will present an opportunity for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Use extreme caution when skiing on non-trails after heavy snowfall due to the risk of avalanches.
The storm will bring temperature extremes over the Plains and Rockies. The temperature contrast will contribute not only to a zone of heavy snow, but also very wet conditions and the risk for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
There is the potential for thunderstorms to erupt and become severe from portions of Michigan to Texas on Monday. This area is likely to be the intersection of dry air from the southwest, building heat and moisture to the southeast and chilly air to the northwest.
A zone of drenching rain is likely to develop just north and west of the thunderstorm area in the cooler air.
Meanwhile, gusty winds topping 60 mph in some areas will kick up dust and raise the wildfire danger south of the storm track over the deserts and passes from Southern California to New Mexico and the western Texas Panhandle.
The storm can bring rainfall to some drought areas of the southern and central Plains through Monday. However, the rainfall will be spotty in the neediest areas of the region from the Texas Panhandle, western Oklahoma, southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado.
There will be some snow reaching the mountains of far northern New Mexico, but nothing like the magnitude of the snow farther north.
As the storm rolls out to the northeast on Monday and Tuesday, wet snow could mix in over part of the northern Plains at the tail end.
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