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Colorado braces for ‘bomb cyclone’ – up to 20 inches of snow expected

Local meteorologists have upgraded their forecast for a powerful winter storm and now include the entire Front Range and northeast Colorado in a blizzard warning — and predict the mountains could get up to 20 inches of snow.
The forecast for snow in Denver has also increased to between 6 and 9 inches, said Natalie Sullivan, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Boulder.
“(The) powerful winter storm system will bring the combination of strong winds and periods of heavy snow to the northeast planes, Front Range and northern and central mountains,” the NWS said in the bulletin.

New highlights ahead of potent winter storm. Prepare for heavy snow, blowing snow, low visibilities, and potential power outages. #COwx
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) March 12, 2019

The weather service issued a blizzard warning beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday until noon on Thursday for Denver.
The weather service warns that driving will be treacherous during the storm.
“Travel will be very difficult. Widespread blowing snow will reduce visibility to near zero at times. The hazardous conditions will impact the evening commute. Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage,” the NWS warns. “Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”
The mountains could get between 11 and 20 inches of new snow and the foothills could get between 6 to 12 inches of snow, Sullivan said.
Temperatures will initially be warm under sunny skies on Tuesday with a high of around 62 degrees. Rain could begin to fall after 4 p.m. Tuesday. Rain showers are expected mostly after 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Boulder. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain.
Temperatures will drop to about 36 degrees Tuesday night.
RELATED: Why Wednesday’s blizzard could be the state’s strongest storm in decades

On Wednesday, rain is expected until around 11 a.m. By noon, the rain will turn to snow.
“The snow could be heavy at times,” the weather service says.
The temperature will fall to around 25 degrees by 4 p.m. It will be very windy with sustained northerly winds rising to 27 to 37 mph. Wind gusts could reach 60 mph. There’s a 100 percent chance of snow, with between 4 and 8 inches of snow expected to fall during the day and another inch of snow Wednesday night.
Blowing snow will be a travel hazard Thursday morning as wind gusts up to 39 mph are expected, the NWS says.
Friday will be sunny with a high temperature of around 40 degrees. Temperatures will climb to 45 on Saturday and 48 on Sunday, the NWS says. By Monday, the high could reach 51 degrees.
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