Heavy Snow Slams Front Range; Avalanche Alerts Posted; Boulder Plow Flips

· Dec. 15, 2015, 1:17 pm
Photo: Winter weather 12.15.15 (AP Photo)AP
John Malsbary, front right, joins forces with Joe Gray, back right, to push a sedan driven by Rebecca Conway out of a curbside spot where the vehicle was stuck early Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Denver.

Posted 6:15 a.m. | Updated 2:30 p.m.

Heavy snow snarled traffic in metro Denver and along the Front Range Tuesday morning and is expected to continue through the day. Wind gusts of up to 30 mph could reduce visibility and make driving dangerous, the National Weather Service says.

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About 7 inches fell in Denver, and some areas in the high country have seen more than a foot.  Along the Front Range, schools are closed in Adams, Douglas and Jefferson Counties, in Denver, Littleton, Englewood and Fort Collins, and many other spots.

There’s been so much snow, in fact, that the City and County of Denver is activating its residential snow plow program at 9 p.m. The city says four-wheel-drive plow trucks will be part of the effort, driven by crews from Denver Public Works and Parks and Recreation. Each truck will make a single pass down each of Denver’s residential streets, shaving off the top few inches of snowpack to make the roadways more drivable and prevent deep rutting.

Hundreds of flights were canceled at Denver International Airport. More flights are delayed by an hour or more, the airport said.

In Boulder, a snowplow flipped into a creek:

Avalanche Warnings Posted

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is advising that snow riders take caution in the backcountry Tuesday. Almost all mountain areas have a considerable chance of avalanches above treeline, says the organization's Scott Toepfer.

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"The new snow has really been adding up lately which is great news for riders, but it does add additional stress to our old buried weak layers. This added stress is going to make it a little easier to trigger an avalanche in the backcountry," he said.

Front Range Snowfall Totals

Photo: 121515 Snow Denver (AP)AP
Clearing snow Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015, in Denver. 

Here are snowfall totals as of 8:53 a.m., according to the NWS:

Arvada - 6.8 inches
Boulder - 8.5 inches
Broomfield - 7 inches
Conifer - 7 inches
DIA - 3.2 inches
SW Denver - 7 inches
Eldorado Springs - 12 inches
Erie - 10.5 inches
Fort Collins - 6.5 inches
Greeley - 10 inches
Genesee - 13.2 inches
Larkspur - 10 inches
Longmont - 7 inches
Louisville - 7.1 inches
Parker - 8.5 inches
Westminster - 8 inches
Wheat Ridge - 7.5 inches

Snow around Denver should be end Tuesday afternoon, as it moves over the Eastern Plains. Expect cloudy skies and warmer temperatures on Wednesday.

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