Blizzard Conditions Possible in Colorado, Kansas Wednesday

November 1, 2011; 2:13 PM ET
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This photo was taken of I-25 near the Denver Tech Center during last week's snowstorm on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. Conditions could be worse along major interstates with the storm moving in through Wednesday this week.

Denver residents are dealing with yet another snowstorm that is set to dump more than half a foot into Wednesday, exactly one week after the city's first significant snow of the season.

This storm will not only affect Denver, but bring widespread accumulating snow to a large portion of Wyoming, Colorado, western Kansas and Nebraska along with blizzard conditions in some areas. Snow is even expected to make an appearance in the Oklahoma panhandle and eventually Wichita and Topeka, Kan., and Kansas City.

Unfortunately, the storm hitting into Wednesday is expected to have a much greater impact on travel than last week's storm in Denver, both on the roads and in the air. The timing will be particularly bad for the Wednesday morning commute.

Temperatures will be quite a bit lower with this storm as compared to last week, potentially allowing the snow to stick to roads across a much larger area. These lower temperatures are also expected to allow snow totals to be a bit higher than the last storm.

Winds with this storm will be stronger than last week's, causing reduced visibility with blowing and drifting. Blizzard conditions may even develop in some areas, especially from Castle Rock, Akron and Limon, Colo., to Goodland, Kan., and Saint Francis, Neb.

Details on the Snow

The storm already started bringing snow to Wyoming early Tuesday and spread to Colorado late in the day.

Snow will be heaviest in Denver overnight, accumulating at a rate of an inch per hour or greater at times.

In general, snow totals in Denver and Colorado Springs are expected to range between 4 and 8 inches, though the Winter Weather Center is favoring amounts on the higher end of this range.

"The foothills can easily have up to a foot of snow," said Meteorologist Andy Mussoline. Amounts in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Fort Collins, Colo., are expected to reach 3 to 6 inches. However, again, snow totals will likely be on the higher end of this range.

Snow is likely to stick to roads with greater ease than last week with temperatures projected to drop into the lower 20s tonight. Winds will cause RealFeel® temperatures, which provide a measure of how cold it feels with the wind factored in, to plunge into the single digits.

During the day Wednesday, temperatures will likely not rise above freezing.

Travel along the major I-25, I-225, I-70 and I-76 corridors could be significantly impacted. Blizzard conditions could even shut down sections of I-70 from eastern Colorado into western Kansas.

Airport delays are likely to result at Denver International with ripple effects across the country.

Strong Winds and the Threat for Blizzard Conditions

Gusty winds will kick up late tonight into Wednesday along and east of Interstate 25. Gusts are generally expected to range between 20 and 30 mph in Denver.

However, in locations farther to the south and east toward Castle Rock, Limon and Pueblo, Colo., and Goodland, Kan., winds will howl at 40 to 50 mph, creating blizzard conditions. Travel could become nearly impossible in these areas, including along I-70.

The winds could also knock down tree branches that were weakened after last week's storm, downing them onto power lines and creating another round of power outages.


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