Early, heavy snow defies Front Range forecast | PostIndependent.com

Early, heavy snow defies Front Range forecast

DENVER (AP) ” A winter storm defied forecasts Wednesday, arriving sooner and dumping more snow than expected along the Front Range.

A 12-mile stretch of Interstate 25 was closed north of Colorado Springs, from Monument Hill to Larkspur, because of weather-related accidents.

Interstate 70 was slushy and icy in spots in the mountains west of Denver, and chain restrictions were in place on some stretches.

The National Weather Service had predicted less than 3 inches of snow in Denver later in the day, but a wind current began wringing moisture out of the air around sunrise and big flakes began piling up quickly, dumping as much as 4 inches before noon.

The revised forecast called for 3 to 7 inches of snow, with the deepest accumulations west and south of Denver.

“It’s getting to be that time of year, it’s almost March,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Koopmeiners. “You expect it this time of year.”

March is typically one of the state’s snowiest months.

A winter storm warning was in effect for the central and southern mountains. A snow advisory was issued for Denver and the eastern foothills.

Eastern Colorado, hammered by a fast-moving storm over the weekend, remained dry Wednesday. Koopmeiners said the spring weather pattern generally spares those areas.

Snow was expected to continue in the mountains Thursday, with a slight chance of snow across the Western Slope. Skies were expected to clear across lower elevations in the eastern half of the state.

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