Live Weather Blog: Tracking a high-impact storm affecting southern Colorado Thursday

Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 17:31:26-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — We've been tracking the storm of the season for many of us. This storm has packed a punch.

In the mountains, snow squalls, or brief periods of intense snow and wind will be possible.

The storm has performed as expected: starting with rain showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, with heavy snow Thursday and continuing snow Friday morning.

CDOT and local plowing operators have worked incredibly hard over the last two days to clear roads - and they're generally in better shape this morning than they were on Thursday. Multiple reporting teams from KOAA have been out across the region this morning. All have reported snow covered and slippery roads.

Travel remains dangerous in the high country above 8,000 feet, where 3-4+ feet of snow have fallen in some areas and avalanche warnings are in effect.

We want to hear from you. If you have condition updates, snow measurements, pictures or videos, send them to They're greatly appreciated!

This blog is being updated in real time.

Major Road Closures

  • Eastbound I-70 is closed between Exit 129 (Bair Ranch) and Exit 133 (Dotsero), and between Exit 167 (Avon) and Exit 168 (Post Boulevard).
  • Westbound US 40 is closed between Exit 232 (I-70) and Mile Point 257 (Empire Junction and Avery Street).
  • Mountain Metro bus services are being delayed until 11 a.m. on Friday morning.

Winter Storm Warnings have expired for parts of the area but remain in effect as of 7:45AM for the Springs, Pueblo, and Cañon City along with the southern mountains:

The U.S. Air Force Academy reported that they responded to a one ton duelly truck with a trailer. They reported no injuries, and confirmed the scene to be fire safe and stayed until a tow vehicle arrived. CSFD had initial contact as first responders, but due to a mutual aid agreement between the agencies. Near I-25 and Woodmen.

NOTE: In Colorado Springs plowing is only taking place on primary routes(Woodmen Road, Academy Boulevard, Union Boulevard) as crews are focusing on hospital routes. They have a full call out of 51 snowplows.

A live look as KOAA's Caroline Peters traverses the snow on the roads on Friday morning.

Teller County Post Service: The Woodland park, Florissant, Cripple Creek, Guffey, and Lake George post offices will be closed Friday. There will be no delivery for Divide today. Post services will resume on Saturday.

School Closures

  • Lewis-Palmer School District 38: Closed
  • Manitou Springs School District 14: Conferences Remote
  • School District 49: Closed
  • Academy School District 20: Remote Learning
  • Cheyenne Mountain School District 12: Closed
  • Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8: Closed
  • Harrison School District 2: Closed
  • Widefield School District 3: Closed
  • Colorado Springs School District 11: Closed

This list is not being regularly updated. For all closings and delays click here.

Power Outages

  • Black Hills Energy - More than 6,500 customers are without power along the Highway 50 Corridor in Fremont County. More than 550 customers are without power in Teller County, and five customers are without power in El Paso County.
  • Colorado Springs Utilities - More than 15 customers near Manitou Springs are without power. More than 500 customers near Cascade-Chipita Park are without power.
  • Colorado Springs Utilities - Reports several small outages across their jurisdiction.

Due to the power outages in Fremont County, My NEIGHBORS CUPBOARD is offering shelter for those without power. They say you can bring any medical devices you have that may need charging with you. They are prepared to take in 30-50 people. You can call them ahead of time at (719)494-6584.

Clear Creek County has declared a Local Disaster Emergency due to heavy amounts of snow and stranded drivers.

Keep track of flight delays at Denver International Airportor the Colorado Springs Airport.

Pikes Peak and other areas currently have avalanche warnings in effect:

  • Front Range Mountains, including Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Berthoud and Loveland Passes
  • James Peak Wilderness
  • Mt. Blue Sky
  • Southern Sawatch Range, including Monarch Pass
  • Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Here's what YOU can expect today in your town/city.

Snow Forecast for Southern Colorado through Friday afternoon
Snow Forecast for Southern Colorado through Friday afternoon

A look into the snow storm as our reporters continue to give us updates on the beat:



Colorado Springs forecast: High: 33 Low: 25
WINTER STORM WARNING in effect until FRIDAY at 12:00PM
Rain showers before 8:00PM, then transitioning to snow showers. Heavy at times with a rumble of thunder possible. Rain and snow showers Wednesday night, becoming more consistent after 10:00PM. Temperatures fall below freezing at 2:00AM east of I-25, and at 12:00AM west of I-25. Snow becomes heavy overnight, with 1-2 inch per hour rates possible. Initially, snow won't stick to roads due to warm temperatures. Snow will begin to stick by 3:00AM - it may stick earlier in areas that see very heavy snow rates - which continues through the morning rush hour. Lighter snow continues through much of the day with a couple breaks in the action possible before heavier snow returns in the evening at 6:00PM. Snow continues overnight. Winds will be breezy, gusting to 25-30 mph at times. When you do feel those winds, visibility will drop significantly. Travel is NOT advised Thursday in Colorado Springs!

Pueblo forecast: High: 37 Low: 29
Rain, heavy at times until 5:00AM. This is a warm storm. Due to your lower elevation, much of the activity overnight will be a cold, and at at times heavy rain. Be on the lookout for a single day rainfall/precipitation record at the Pueblo Airport today...we have a lot of moisture to work with here. By 5:00AM, cooling from the rain should change you over to snow, but snow will struggle to stick outside of grassy surfaces into the morning. Nonetheless, due to the intensity of the snow, particularly from around 5:00AM-10:00AM, you should get some snow to stick to the roads through brute force. Light to moderate snow continues through the day.

Canon City forecast: High: 34 Low: 30
Rain, snow, and a couple rumbles of thunder overnight into Thursday morning. Snow will be heavy overnight with 1-2 inches/hr rates possible. Snow will accumulate - with several inches on the ground by the morning. Snow will continue to be heavy in the morning, becoming light to moderate during the afternoon.

Woodland Park forecast: High: 30 Low: 16

Snow showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms and breezy. Heavy snow on Thursday morning, coupled with gusty winds resulting in blowing snow and VERY LOW VISIBILITY. DO NOT DRIVE. Snow continues, heavy at times through the entire day. Expect a lot of snow when you look outside Thursday morning...between 6-12 inches - but note that no matter what you see, more is coming. Be prepared for power outages due to heavy snow and gusty winds. If you do experience a power outage: place towels under doorway cracks, and have layers to dress in - similar to if you were going for an outdoor hike or walk with temperatures in the 30s.

Tri-Lakes forecast: High: 20s Low: 20s

Snow, heavy overnight. Plenty of accumulation - by 8:00AM Thursday, you may have 8+ inches already! Snow continues through the day, heaviest in the morning, and the evening which could both see rates of 1"/hr or more.

Plains forecast: High: Low 40s Low: 20s/30s
Rain is headed to the plains over the course of today. Warm temperatures mean snow is not in the cards for you outside of a few bursts which won't amount to much. A good drink of water though!

Walsenburg and Trinidad forecast: High: 30/34 Low: 25/26
WINTER STORM WARNING in effect until FRIDAY at 6:00PM

Off and on rain and snow showers during the morning, with patchy heavy rates of 1-2"/hour. Blowing snow is likely with wind gusts to 30 mph. Heavier and steadier snow arrives at 8:00AM, continues through noon, with patchier snow returning after noon. Rates in the late morning are likely to be up to 2"/hr. This heavy, wet snow will stick to roads and powerlines. Thundersnow is also possible due to instability in the mid-atmosphere - don't be surprised if you hear a few rumbles. Heavier snow showers again return during the evening.

Mountains forecast: High: 20s Low: Teens
WINTER STORM WARNING in effect until FRIDAY at...
-3:00PM for the Central Mountains
-6:00PM for the Southern Mountains

Heavy wind, heavy snow, and low visibility. If you live in the mountains - stay inside today. If you don't - don't travel to or through the mountains today. Wind gusts above 40 mph will reduce visibilities dramatically. 20-40" of snow is on the way. At the highest summits (the 13ers and 14ers), we're talking about 50+ inches of snow. We'll have multiple rounds of very heavy rates - 2+"/hr, on Thursday and again Thursday night and Friday morning. Moisture this morning comes from the northeast. on Friday it surges in from the south and west - giving us another round of heavy rates, which may continue into the early afternoon.

Beware of high avalanche danger following this storm - this weekend is not a good weekend to be in the backcountry. Avalanche warnings are very likely.

Extended outlook forecast:

A few snow showers continue Saturday in southern Colorado. We'll remain cold this weekend with below average highs in the 40s for most on Saturday and Sunday before warming to seasonable Monday and above average by Tuesday.

Track this storm through the morning, including snow totals and updated forecasts, on the First Alert 5 Weather stream, which can be viewed on the KOAA News5 app for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV or AndroidTV.