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Weather Alert Wednesday: Major winter storm on the plains tonight

Posted at 6:32 AM, Dec 26, 2018

Today’s Forecast:
Winter storm warnings are in place today from the afternoon through Thursday morning with freezing rain, heavy snow and strong winds all combining to make travel through the plains dangerous. The Pikes Peak area will likely not get much of a weather impact from this storm, since we’re just too far away from the low pressure center. Light snow with strong winds could still make things nasty to drive tonight, especially over Monument Hill.

The plains are going to take the brunt of this storm. Patchy freezing rain and fog in the morning will be thawed and replaced with just rain through the rest of the day. Tonight, a very strong wind from the north will bring cold air and switch all rain into ice and then snow, mainly after 8 to 9 pm tonight with very large accumulations expected through Thursday morning. Travel will be dangerous on all roads east of Pueblo county and north of the Colorado border tonight after 9 pm, so do not drive if you can.

Snow Expectations
The plains will see the heaviest snow tonight

COLORADO SPRINGS: High – 41; Low – 20. Isolated showers or flurries during the day with light, blowing snow tonight. Gusts will be in the 40 mph range with snow accumulation likely under 1 inch.

PUEBLO: High – 44; Low – 23. Showers and flurries at times today with blowing snow tonight. Gusts will be in the 40 to 50 mph with snow accumulations between 1 to 2 inches, more towards eastern Pueblo county.

CANON CITY: High – 43; Low – 22. Flurries or sprinkles are possible today but mainly dry conditions are expected until tonight where very light, blowing snow is possible. Minimal snow accumulation is expected.

WOODLAND PARK: High – 39; Low – 11. Flurries are possible today but it’s more likely we’ll stay dry until tonight where light, blowing snow is possible by Thursday morning. Accumulation will be around an inch or less.

TRI-LAKES: High – 30s; Low – 10s. Flurries possible during the day but strong winds and blowing snow will reutrn tonight. Winds will be gusting in the 40 mph range with snow totals between 1 to 2 inches expected.

PLAINS: High – 40s; Low – 20s. Winter storm will impact the plains tonight, but before the snow comes, rain will be falling from the morning and off and on through the afternoon. Tonight the winds will pick up, gusting in the 40 and even 50 mph range, causing blowing snow and low visibility. Rain will turn to ice first and then snow. Anyone in the Winter Storm Warning should plan for snow totals between 4 to 7 inches by Thursday morning. Travel tonight will simply be dangerous, if you’re vehicle is stalled or you crash, wind chills will be down near zero.

WALSENBURG/TRINIDAD: High – 40s; Low – 10s. Light showers, both rain and snow, are likely today off and on from the morning through the afternoon. Heavy, blowing snow will fall tonight into tomorrow morning, making all travel on I-25 and the surrounding highways treacherous. Snow totals in the region will range from 4 to 7 inches, with Trinidad seeing more snow than Walsenburg.


EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
Thursday, the snow will wind down and stop in the early morning, but the cold and gusty winds will remain. Extremely cold temperatures will come back Thursday night with wide spread temperatures in the low teens for the lower elevations, and wind chills at or below single digits. Snow is once again possible on Friday night, but this snow would be fluffy and easily stack-able, so our snow totals will probably be larger in the Pikes Peak region.