Late snow brings drought relief

Colorado, Wyoming affected by heavy snow, high winds cause concern

April 16, 2013


Major late-season winter storms are bringing much-needed moisture to parts of Colorado and Wyoming. High storm winds also bring concern about raising wildfire damage to the south.

Another wave of the slow-moving storm could bring another foot of snow to parts of Colorado’s mountains Tuesday, in areas that got a foot or more the day before. Parts of Southeastern Wyoming could also get an additional foot before the storm moves east into Nebraska and Iowa Wednesday night.

The snowpack in both Colorado and Wyoming is still below average but has risen in the last week to 77 percent average in both states.

April is typically the second-snowiest month for the region. Wet Spring snows help boost the mountain snowpack that provides most of the area’s water supply. The Front Range region has had two years of drought conditions and many water districts have limited watering.

Extremely dangerous conditions are expected to impact travel on interstate 80 from western Nebraska into southeastern Wyoming Tuesday night into Wednesday night.

Similar dangerous conditions will be seen along interstate 76 in northeastern Colorado and interstate 25 from Denver to Cheyenne, especially on Wednesday.

Colorado’s southwestern corner and the agricultural San Luis Valley along the New Mexico are expected to get only strong winds, making it easier for wildfires to spread in dried-out vegetation.

This will be a long-duration storm with snow of varying intensity. There is a potential for more snow in Colorado’s mountains on Friday. The storm system is expected to pick up speed as it moves east into the Great Lakes Friday. It should more off the East Coast Saturday.


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