A powerful snowstorm is expected over the next three days to western parts of the US's Rockies and central high plains, where forecasters warned of whiteout conditions, power outages, and avalanches.
Heavy snow and wind exacerbated the late-winter snowstorm over the central Rocky Mountains on Sunday, causing airport and road delays, power outages, and avalanche warnings in Colorado, Wyoming Nebraska.
Blizzard alerts have been released by the National Weather Service (NWS) for areas of Wyoming and western Nebraska, where heavy snowfall of up to 2 feet (61 cm) and strong winds of up to 65 miles per hour (105 km per hour) could create hazardous conditions from Saturday to Monday.
Travelers who would be on the road were advised to bring emergency equipment and flashlights, according to the weather service. According to the outlook, powerful winds and heavy snow may also cause significant damage to trees and power lines.
On Twitter, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon wrote, "We're planning for a potentially unprecedented winter storm to affect south-east Wyoming." "The safest decision this weekend is to keep off the roads."
We're preparing for a potentially historic winter storm to impact Southeast Wyoming beginning late tonight. If you have to travel, carry emergency supplies. The best option is to stay off the roads this weekend. pic.twitter.com/6G76Ep7uHY— Governor Mark Gordon (@GovernorGordon) March 12, 2021
Related Article: Warm Weather a Flux; Snowy Weekend Coming!
As temperatures fell below zero in Denver, the rain turned to snow late Saturday morning.
On Twitter, the NWS said that a drier weather pattern passing through the city in the afternoon briefly slowed the snowfall intensity.
"However, by late afternoon/early evening and into Sunday, more heavy snow will return," the weather service added.
According to the aviation monitoring website Flight Aware, 1,979-weekend flights in and out of Denver International Airport were canceled because of the storm.
Xcel Energy, a utility provider, said this week that it was "increasing the number of crews" to cope with any future power outages caused by the warm, wet snow.
The National Weather Service alerted travelers and skiers in higher elevations that avalanches could be caused quickly as snow levels rise, and Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered the state's national guard to respond to search and rescue requests the weekend.
It won't hurt anybody to be a bit more vigilant and prepared than normal during the winter months. The below are some excellent ways to plan for potential blizzards or snowstorms:
- Pipes should be covered with anti-freeze;
- walls should be insulated;
- Ensure the chimneys, vents, and other exhaust ports are clear;
- Maintain a well-functioning heating system;
- Get rid of any mice or other pests that have taken up residence in your home;
- Purchasing produce and rations;
- In case of an emergency, keep additional service items on hand;
- Invest in de-icing materials and heavy-duty anti-snow devices;
- Winter tires are advisable;
- Prepare for the possibility of a power outage;
- Make an emergency supply kit; and
- Prepare a winter route in case you need to travel.
It is safer to sit at home during these periods than avoiding falling into a car accident.
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