Yup, it’s snowing again. And it’s piling up out there.
Snow accumulation totaled 9 inches in downtown Denver and 9.5 inches at Denver International Airport, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Schlatter. It’s not close to the city’s record total for any day in November, which Schlatter said was set in 1946 when the city got 14.3 inches of snow.
Frank Cooper, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Boulder, said snowfall began shortly before midnight in Denver with an especially intense band developing afterward dumping 3 inches over an hour in places like the airport.
“That’s when things really picked up at DIA,” Cooper said. More than 460 flights have been canceled.
Expect a low of 5 degrees tonight and a high of 26 degrees in Denver, with patchy, blowing snow today.
Denver city government offices are closed today after initially announcing they would be on a two-hour delay. Snow response, traffic operations, trash and recycling, 311 and public safety and emergency responder operations are on regular schedules. State government offices in Denver are closed today as well.
Denver Public Schools has closed all its offices and the Emily Griffith Campus. Schools are closed this week due to Thanksgiving break. Other weather-related closures include the Auraria Campus, Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Zoo.
RTD warned the storm is causing “long delays” for buses and trains. Bus delays are projected to take 30 to 45 minutes on most routes, while light rail and commuter rail trains are expected to be delayed by 10 to 20 minutes. The agency suggests passengers check in on their website for cancelations.
CDOT hopes drivers will avoid travel, especially in northeastern Colorado. They suggested delaying your commute or your holiday travel today. The agency said in a release Tuesday their plows are making “multiple passes on the interstates and major routes.”
“Do not consider going out unless your vehicle is equipped for the snow,” a release from CDOT on Tuesday morning said. “Winter tires with adequate tread is essential. You must take it slow, do not pass plows, leave a safe space behind the vehicle ahead and expect road closures.”
Denver police tweeted at 7:37 a.m. that nine crashes had been reported since 5 a.m. There were no reports of “puffers” being stolen.
Accumulation will be higher in areas north of I-70; Cooper said Boulder had 14 inches this morning. CDOT said I-70 was closed in both directions from east of Denver to Burlington.
Snowfall will continue in Denver at a rate of about 1 to 1.5 inches an hour through the mid-morning. Cooper said to expect up to 10 to 15 inches of total snow accumulation in the city. A winter storm warning will be in effect for Denver until 2 p.m. today. Wind gusts are expected as high as 35 mph. Travel will be “very difficult to impossible today.”
“Check for road closures. Stay home if at all possible,” Cooper said. If you have to venture out, Cooper suggested taking precautions, like taking some supplies like a blanket or extra food.
A blizzard warning is in effect for areas east of Denver. While snow will taper off in the plains later today, Cooper said strong winds will persist.
The St. Charles Recreation Center is open as a warming center.
It’s located at 3777 N. Lafayette St. and will be open until 7 p.m. for people experiencing homelessness and others wanting to avoid the snowy conditions.
Other shelters including The Delores Project, Urban Peak Drop-In Center, The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Denver Rescue Mission and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless will be open. The Gathering Place is closed today but plans to reopen on Wednesday for normal operations. More information on the open shelter’s hours can be found online on the city’s human services page.
Donna Bryson has more on options and outreach for people experiencing homelessness.
This story has been updated throughout.