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Dangerous blizzard and winter storm impacts Pikes Peak region

Today’s Forecast:
A dangerous winter storm and blizzard is set to hit both El Paso and Teller counties, starting this morning and lasting well into the evening hours. Extremely strong winds will be the biggest problem across Pueblo county and the plains, but those same strong winds will blow through El Paso County, making travel dangerous to impossible at times. Snow totals in northern El Paso and Teller counties could easily reach up to a foot, with much higher drifting likely due to the combination of high winds and blowing snow. Lighter snow totals are expected across central and southern Colorado Springs, but travel will still be extremely dangerous due to very strong winds and little to no visibility.


COLORADO SPRINGS: High
 – 46; Low – 24.  Rain in the morning turns to snow around 8 to 9 am and conditions quickly turn bad by 10 am. Travel after 11 am will likely be difficult across most of the county, especially east of the interstate where the full brunt of our 70 to 80 mph gusts will take place. Snow totals will be highest north of Woodmen road, totaling from 6 to 10 inches from Briargate to the north side of town.

PUEBLO: High – 50; Low – 30. Isolated showers and sprinkles into the morning with more scattered showers through the afternoon and little to no snow expected into the evening. Snow totals should stay under 1 inch across town, but the winds will be the biggest problem. Wind gusts during the day could gust up to 80 mph at their highest.

CANON CITY: High – 48; Low – 28. Scattered showers off and on from the morning to the afternoon with a possible light snow change over by the mid to late morning. Little to no snow is expected, totals should stay under 1 inch. The winds will be strong today, gusting between 20 to 40 mph especially in the afternoon, but drives east out of town and along highway 115 will be much worse than in town or west.

WOODLAND PARK: High – 34; Low – 12. Early rain quickly turns to heavy snow as the morning goes on, and snow starts to become combined with strong winds from the mid-morning to the afternoon. Snow totals by Thursday morning will be between 8 to 12 inches in Woodland Park, with locally higher totals ranging across the higher elevation areas in and around town, with 6 to 12 inches for Cripple Creek. Travel will become dangerous to nearly impossible from the afternoon to the evening hours.

TRI-LAKES: High – 30s; Low – 10s. Blizzard conditions will quickly set into the Tri-Lakes area from 9 am through the overnight hours. Wind speeds will consistently blow between 50 to 60 mph with max wind gusts to 75 mph possible. Extremely heavy snow will fall with tremendous snow totals expected over Monument Hill by Thursday morning. By Thursday morning 10 to 14 inches of snow is possible, with much higher drifts from the strong winds.

PLAINS: High – 40/50s; Low – 20s.  Scattered showers from the mid-morning to the afternoon are in the forecast for the plains, but the winds are by far the biggest problem facing everyone east of El Paso, Pueblo counties and most of Las Animas counties. Strong northerly winds will blow across highway 50 and all other areas to the plains with maximum gusts to 70 if not 80 mph through the afternoon.

WALSENBURG/TRINIDAD: High – 40s; Low – 20s. Heavier snow is expected to fall from the morning to the evening across the Sangre De Cristo mountains, but really just scattered showers and a brief change over to little snow by this evening is expected along the southern I-25 corridor. The winds will be strong from Walsenburg to Trinidad, but they will blow out of the north and northwest, so tipping semi trucks is not quite as big of a concern as a normal west wind, but caution should be taken. Drives west to the mountains and La Veta pass could be very slick and dangerous.


EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
Flurries will be left in the Pikes Peak region by Thursday morning, but most of the area will see dry, but windy skies. The winds will generally die off through Thursday afternoon and become calm in the evening. The sunshine returns for Friday, and sticks around well into the early part of next week! Highs will warm to the 50s over the weekend and stay in that range through Monday and Tuesday. Little to no rain is expected until the middle of next week.

Sam Schreier

Sam Schreier

Sam Schreier is a meteorologist at KOAA in Colorado Springs Email: sschreier@koaa.com
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