Colorado towns buried by up to three feet of snow with summer around the corner
A May snowstorm continued to pound the central and northern Rockies on Friday, a day after burying portions of Colorado under three feet of snow.
The storm has created headaches for travellers on highways, caused thousands of power outages and forced schools and businesses to close.
The highest reported snow total was 38.5 inches (97.79 centimetres) near Ward, Colorado, the National Weather Service said. Many other locations picked up between two and three feet.
More snow is forecast Friday before it tapers off Saturday.
Interstate 80 and US Route 30 from Laramie to Cheyenne, Wyoming, were closed in both directions Thursday night due to the heavy snow. Both roads remained closed as of early Friday morning, AccuWeather said.
The weather service in Cheyenne warned against any unnecessary travel in southern Wyoming. A record 11 inches of snow fell in Cheyenne on Thursday.
The last time Cheyenne experienced such a significant snow event this late in spring was about 67 years ago, when Harry Truman was president, the Weather Channel said. In Denver, the storm marked the city’s biggest mid-May snow in 42 years.
Several high school graduation ceremonies in the Denver area were postponed due to the storm, KUSA-TV said. Thousands of people were without power as the heavy snow weighed down power lines.
The late-season snow event is not unheard of. Both Cheyenne and Denver have experienced accumulating snowfall even into early June in the past, AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
Temperatures will warm up and conditions will improve over the weekend, he added.
The Weather Channel named the storm Winter Storm Valerie as part of its winter storm naming system.