Published on : Monday, March 15, 2021
The winter and spring collided on Sunday as parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nebraska were blasted with up to 4 feet of snow while Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri braced for heavy rains, high winds, flooding and possible tornadoes.
Cheyenne, Wyoming, saw snow totals of 25.8 inches this weekend — smashing a previous 2-day record held since 1979, according to the National Weather Service. And more could be coming — the weather service warned some areas could see up to 50 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph before the weather eased Monday. The schools in Cheyenne and another city in Wyoming, Casper, are taking a snow day Monday, as are Denver Public Schools. Some government offices in those areas also will be closed Monday.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced the closure of state facilities and state offices in Laramie County starting Monday, adding that Wyoming Legislature will not meet as well.
Gordon said that they will see high winds and snowfalls into the overnight hours.
More than 2,000 flights were canceled in and out of Denver alone over the weekend. Runways were closed for Sunday night, the Denver International Airport tweeted, as it marked nearly two inches of snow. Many highways and local roads were closed, including a few with “no alternate route advised.”
In Colorado, some areas already had almost 30 inches of snow by noon Sunday. A foot of snow had fallen in Denver, and more was on the way.
The National Weather Service warned that the total snow accumulations of 12-24 inches for the Interstate 25 corridor and up to 3-4 feet in the northern foothills,” the. The wind gusts of 30-40 mph will cause some blowing and drifting snow.
The Colorado Department of Transportation reported a slew of highway closures, including swaths of Interstate 70 that runs east to west across the state. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center set the avalanche risk as high, warning of “very dangerous avalanche conditions.”
Major roads southeast of a line that crosses diagonally from the southwest corner of Wyoming to its northeast corner were closed Sunday, including roads in and out of Cheyenne and Casper. The Associated Press reported that 98 trucks were stranded outside of Cheyenne.
Nebraska’s State Patrol tweeted asking people across the western part of the state to stay home to avoid strong winds and blizzard conditions. The Department of Transportation urged people across the state to avoid travel if at all possible, reported the Omaha World-Herald.
Some parts of Texas were in recovery mode after being pounded by tornadoes and heavy storms Friday and Saturday. In Amarillo, dozens of hikers were evacuated from a trail after two possible tornadoes in the area. Randall County Sheriff Christopher Forbis reported hail the size of baseballs.
More severe weather rolled through Texas and Oklahoma all the way to the Mississippi River on Sunday. The biggest threats were heavy, drenching downpours and damaging winds, AccuWeather said. Parts of Missouri were deluged with 7 inches of rain Saturday, and more was forecast for Sunday.
The National Weather Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, warned that strong and severe storms were possible late Sunday.