Blowing and drifting snow continued to cause major travel problems along the I-25 corridor in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming Wednesday as a powerful winter storm gathered strength and rolled northeastward.
The same storm that will spread blizzard conditions across the Plains and Midwest into Thursday began on Tuesday night in the Southwest, bringing several inches of snow to Flagstaff and up to a foot of snow in southwestern Colorado.
Strengthening winds can gust to 40 mph in areas such as Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, significantly reducing visibility when combined with the snow.
The heaviest snow amounts will be contained to the Rockies and farther east across the central Plains, but residents in the I-25 corridor of Colorado can expect several inches of fresh powder.
Motorists venturing out should take extra caution when driving through wind-driven snow. Interstates I-25 and I-70 can be adversely affected at times with the worst conditions moving east of Denver into Nebraska and northwestern Kansas. In this area, winds can gust past 50 mph at times creating blizzard conditions.
Despite the travel troubles, this is good news for the ski resorts and snow enthusiasts who have been "snow-starved" to begin the winter season.
Prior to this storm, just 8 inches of snow has fallen in Denver this season, which is well below the normal of around 20 inches. Only about an inch of snow has whitened the ground this December, when the average is near 8 inches.
The snow is expected to wind down in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Cheyenne Wednesday evening as the storm pulls away from the region. Dry, milder weather should build in for the end of the week and into the pre-Christmas weekend.
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