Potentially Historic Blizzard to Hit the Rockies and High Plains this Weekend

A potentially crippling, historic snowstorm will pummel parts of the Rockies and High Plains this weekend with multiple feet – multiple feet! – of heavy, wet snow that could cripple travel, damage or actually bring down trees and knock out power in parts of Colorado, Wyoming and western Nebraska, warns weather.com.

Early this week, snow blanketed parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, the Dakotas and Minnesota, with a few locations pickings up a foot of snow. But that was just an appetizer. This weekend’s storm will be the main course.

“The storm has the potential to rank among the biggest on record in Denver,” AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. It could be one of its biggest snowstorms since 1885.

The record for the biggest snowstorm in the Mile High City has stood since 1913, when a storm lasting from Dec. 1 to Dec 5 unloaded 45.7 inches of snow.

“The rate of wet and clinging snow can be excessive, create whiteouts and lead to trees and power lines coming down,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. Blowing and drifting snow is anticipated in the vast open areas and over the ridges and through the passes.

Several feet of snow – as much as five feet (150 cm) – is projected to pile up over the foothills west of Denver and in southeastern Wyoming.

The monster storm threatens to be a long-duration event that could result in snowfall totals nearing 2 feet in Denver and as high as 3 feet west of Denver, such as Boulder and Fort Collins.

The National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyoming, called this a “potentially historic event taking shape” in their Wednesday afternoon forecast discussion and mentioned “blizzard conditions possible” in their winter storm watch.

There is high confidence that parts of southeast Wyoming, the Nebraska Panhandle and northeast Colorado will pick up at least a foot of snow late Friday into early Monday.

With a potential for more than 2 feet of snow to hit Wyoming’s capital city, Cheyenne, Wyoming, this could be its heaviest snowstorm on record.

It could also be the heaviest snowstorm on record to pummel Scottsbluff, Nebraska, since a mid-April 1927 storm dumped 25.8 inches of snow in three days in the western Nebraska town.

Snow may fall at the rate of several inches per hour at times Saturday and Sunday.

This is a dangerous storm ahead with potentially life-threatening impacts.

Roads – including stretches of I-25, 70 and 80 – in the High Plains and Front Range are likely to become impassable and may be closed this weekend.

You should avoid all travel in eastern Wyoming, western Nebraska and northeast Colorado from the foothills eastward from late Friday night through Sunday. If not, you run the risk of being stranded.

Some locations could see over 130 inches (more than 11 ft) of snow in two days!

Light snow is forecast to develop Friday evening across the region, according to the National Weather Service. However, much of the winter weather impacts are forecast to occur later in the day on Saturday and throughout much of Sunday. Winter Storm Watches have been issued and include southeast Wyoming, northeast and north-central Colorado, as well as western Nebraska.

Snowfall will pick up in intensity across the the central and southern Rockies — Colorado and southeastern Wyoming in particular — on Saturday night into Sunday. Snowfall rates will reach 1-3 inches per hour, accompanied by strong winds.

Depending on temperature trends, portions of northwestern Kansas, central and northeastern Nebraska and southern South Dakota, could also see very heavy snow as well.

The storm also poses a danger to livestock left out in the open.

Before the system fully develops this weekend, heavy snow could fall across the higher elevations of the Intermountain West and Southwest. Portions of Utah and Arizona could see over 6 inches of snow by Saturday morning.

Heavy mountain snow and lower elevation heavy rain will also remain possible across southern California through Friday.






Thanks to Bill Sellers, Murray Stafford and  Benjamin Napier for these links

16 thoughts on “Potentially Historic Blizzard to Hit the Rockies and High Plains this Weekend”

  1. Have to see if a possibly historic snowfall in Colorado will cause the drought monitor based in Nebraska to budge at all.

  2. Saw that earlier yesterday on weather.gov map.
    Snowfall a thing of the past???? I don’t think so. Nor will my cell phone charger destroy the planet LOL

  3. When will people finally realize that we need a global communist government, and all these weather problems will go away?

  4. These kinds of storms in March are not unusual. But with global warming they should be a thing of the past. Of course New York should now be under 6 feet or more of ocean waters.

  5. did a double take
    just yesterday I read an item saying the entire westcoast cali up and inland was going to be huge fire risks and dry
    guess thats the same as our Bom for truth and fact/reality
    the snow expected sure oughta nil fire risks and fill some rivers n dams as it melts

  6. Entering on a probable 8-cycle (88 year) Super-Grand Solar Minimum through c. AD 2108, northern and western-hemispheric regional weather differentials tend to seasonal extremes.

    Here on ye North Jersey Shore, a micro-climate in the Long Island – Raritan Bay “elbow” produces not only milder winters from Sandy Hook south to Cape May but relatively constant
    solstice highs-and-lows.

    While High Plains regions from eastern Montana and Wyoming to Colorado and Nebraska suffer polar vortex episodes, since February we’ve experienced a virtual heat-wave rising to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (!) this week.

    Alas for Green Gang poltroons, reality from AD 1350 portends a cyclical 102-kiloyear Pleistocene chill-phase due to bury 60% of Earth’s habitable landmasses under ice-sheets two miles thick.

  7. With 52 volcanoes currently erupting around the world, my guess is that it’s gonna get very much colder.

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