Denver weather: Let’s watch weather pros and your fellow Denverites figure this out in real time

This is a snowstorm liveblog.

Snow begins to fall in earnest over Denver. March 13, 2021.

Snow begins to fall in earnest over Denver. March 13, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Speculating about snowstorms is practically a sport in Denver, one this city is actually good at. Let’s do it together!

We’ll update this liveblog with the latest on the Possible Storm of the Decade from weather experts, closure info, the best of Snow Twitter and more.

Got snow photos or weather gripes you need another human to hear? Email tips@denverite.com.

 

Sunday

 

7:00 p.m. 🚌 RTD says it has suspended service

In the spirit of staying home and safe, RTD has decided to suspend all rail and bus services because of the blizzard conditions. Earlier this evening, the agency said rail service would continue with delays. But RTD has since changed course.

 

4:58 p.m. Yep, it’s still snowing

The blizzard warning lasts until midnight and the National Weather Service doesn’t expect the snow to taper off until then. So, yeah, continue to hunker down, Denver.

 

1:21 p.m.  Snow day tomorrow!

Ready your sleds and snowshoes. Denver Public Schools will be closed on Monday.

And the Colorado state senate won’t convene tomorrow either.

 

12:39 p.m.  Great, now it’s a blizzard

 

11:22 a.m.  No, really. Only drive if you have to.

The heavy, wet snow is making the roads slick and hard to travel and the Colorado State Patrol is asking people to stay home if they are able.

Even if you wanted to drive, you won’t get very far.

 

10:51 a.m. 🌎 Snowy view from above

Sure, you can look at your window … but here’s how it looks FROM SPACE.

 

10:16 a.m. Power has begun to go out around town

We saw tweets about outages in Capitol Hill. At this moment, Xcel energy is reporting 36 outage orders affecting 1,941 customers in the metro area. You can check in on their numbers via their interactive map.

210314-XCEL-MAP
Xcel Energy's outage map

 

9:01 a.m. 🌨 Be safe out there … when you’re shoveling

Shoveling snow might seem like a simple enough chore, the last big study of shoveling injuries found that the task sent an average of 11,500 people to the emergency room every year in the U.S. So take some hot cocoa breaks. You’ve got some time before you have to clear those walks.

 

8:37 a.m. ❄️❄️❄️ It totally snowed

Denver has about 6 inches of snow so far. And the National Weather Service is reporting 11 inches at DIA. Heavy snow is expected throughout the day.

Saturday

 

3:50 p.m. ☃️ It’s been a pretty tame storm so far

The storm is expected to pick up later tonight into Sunday morning. So while we didn’t get “let’s build a whole dance crew of snowmen” levels of the white stuff this afternoon we may have it later. The gentle snowfall wasn’t without its own rewards, however. Here’s another Denver cat doing cat-like things.

 

 

2:06 p.m.  🚗 By the way

 

1:10 p.m. 👀 Whoaaaaaaaa

Have you ever really stopped to look at the snow, man? I mean, reaaaaaaaaaaaaally look at the snow. It’s amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.

 

12:25 p.m. ❄️ This just in

 

12:15 p.m. ✈️ You see, we’re not stuck with you. You’re stuck here with us!

The incoming wet and heavy snow of course prompted a quick spin of the cancelation wheel over at Denver International Airport. According to FlightAware.com, 744 flights have been canceled today and on Sunday, tomorrow, there are currently 1,176 flights off the board. The motherly advice to offer here is to always confirm your flight status before making the trek out to say hello to Blucifer and then park at the airport.

 

11:20 a.m. 😲 It’s almost snow time!

 

10:20 a.m. 🌶 Meanwhile, down south in Pueblo chile country…

 

8:35 a.m. 😕 We woke up at 5 a.m. and saw the grass on our lawn, so we rolled over and went back to sleep

A grey morning over Denver before heavy snow is expected to fall. March 13, 2021.

A grey morning over Denver before heavy snow is expected to fall. March 13, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

But now we’re up and getting coffee’d up for… What? Waiting mostly. The National Weather Service says there’s light drizzle out there right now. A bit anti-climactic, but big snow could still be on the way. Our CPR friends wonder how you feel this morning…

 

Friday

7:47 🧣 Denverites came together to make sure people sleeping outside will be warm

All day on Friday, Denverites dropped off hats, pants, blankets and sleeping bags to few collection points throughout town, eventually bound for people living in homelessness. We joined Harmony Cummings as she arrived at Civic Center Park with a car completely filled with supplies. She was met with a crowd of people grateful for the stuff. Hand warmers, bottles of water, socks and gloves were some of the most sought after items.

Harmony Cummings distributes blankets and clothes to people living on Denver's streets before heavy snow was expected in the city. March 12, 2021.

Harmony Cummings distributes blankets and clothes to people living on Denver's streets before heavy snow was expected in the city. March 12, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

While we were there, we met Morgan Moses and Ajök Abiar, who met on the app, Hinge, and were on their first date.

“If you want to go out, this is what we’re doing tonight,” Moses told Abiar. He was down. They spent the evening delivering at least three truckloads full of supplies.

Left: For their first date, Morgan Moses and Ajök Abiar delivered truckloads full of blankets and clothes to people living on Denver's streets. Right: A man named Boston was grateful for the supplies. March 12, 2021.

Left: For their first date, Morgan Moses and Ajök Abiar delivered truckloads full of blankets and clothes to people living on Denver's streets. Right: A man named Boston was grateful for the supplies. March 12, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

A man named Boston said he’d been living outside with his girlfriend for about a month. They moved to Denver last year, and he said the downturn following COVID-19’s arrival left them without a permanent place to stay. Someone recently stole the tent they were living in – it wasn’t the first time – and he was grateful for some new blankets and tarps.

“Man, thank you guys so much,” he told them. “You put a smile on my face.”

3:23 😥 OK, so maybe the storm won’t be historic

 

1:54 p.m. 🐕 A snow angel is looking down on us

From reader Vanessa:

“Hailey, a former member of your ’50 over 50′ pup list (sadly now passed), was always ready for a snowstorm.

“Bring it on.”

Hailey the pug loved "tarot reading, judging outfits, napping in the sun, reading the Sunday NYT travel section and appreciating Werner Herzog filmography."

Hailey the pug loved "tarot reading, judging outfits, napping in the sun, reading the Sunday NYT travel section and appreciating Werner Herzog filmography."

 

12:07 p.m. ⛓️ The latest on plowing

According to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, 70 large plows will address Denver’s main streets in 12-hour shifts.

Residential streets are being plowed by a fleet of 36 4×4 pickup trucks. Drivers will deploy once snow starts to accumulate. During each of their 12-hour shifts, drivers will make a single pass down the center of a street. They won’t bring the street to bare pavement or carry deicer.

 

10:32 a.m. 📚 The city’s recently opened library branches (9 in all) will be closed this weekend

The city’s libraries as we know them have been closed during the pandemic, but in early March Denver Public Libraries announced it would reopen 9 branches. Those branches will, however, be closed this weekend due to the weather, said Erika Martinez, DPL’s Director of Communications & Community Engagement.

 

10:11 a.m. 🏘️ The city’s preparing a standby shelter for people experiencing homelessness

The city is considering opening a standby shelter for men and individuals experiencing homelessness at the St. Charles Recreation Center.

“While there is reasoned confidence that existing shelter programs for men an transgender individuals have adequate capacity, the standby shelter is being prepared in the event of unanticipated complications due to the storm,” the city said in a statement.

Men and trans individuals seeking shelter during the day are being asked to go to the Lawrence Street Community Center, 2222 Lawrence St. Women and trans individuals can find shelter at 1370 Elati St. Find more info about Denver’s emergency shelters here.

 

9:53 a.m. 🚘 Maybe don’t I-70?

 

9:23 a.m. 🐱 We are cat. Cat is us.

 

8:39 a.m. 📏 This storm might not be the biggest. But it’ll still be Big.

Two feet is nothing to scoff at!

 

8:34 a.m. 🌡️ The latest forecast from the National Weather Service

Thursday

 

4:39 p.m. 🚌 RTD says to expect delays this weekend

Expect delays of 10 to 30 minutes (or longer).

 

1:35 p.m. 🏀 This is how many Nikola Jokics it could snow.

12:56 p.m. 🏠 What are the chances of your roof collapsing under the weight of all the snow we’re expecting?

Colorado Matters’ Ryan Warner asked a self-proclaimed building code geek that question. For reference, the 2003 storm collapsed some roofs around Denver.

 

11:36 a.m. 😲 Around this time 18 years ago, Denver got nearly 32 inches of snow

DIA closed and all that snow ripped a hole in its canvas roof. Skiers were stranded. Kids got a two-week spring break.

Where were you during the 2003 blizzard?

 

10:29 a.m. ⛏️Your friendly reminder to shovel

 

9:17 a.m. 🔌 Xcel says it expects its electric and natural gas systems to “perform as usual”

The energy provider issued a statement saying its sources performed “very well during the February cold snap that impacted the Midwest last month.” And watch out for downed powerlines!

It also provided tips to conserve energy:

  • If your home uses heat, adjust your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
  • Open drapes and blinds to maximize heat from direct sunlight.
  • Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling, adding comfort and savings.
  • Keep interior doors open to help circulate air more freely and maintain constant heating levels.
  • Operate energy-intensive appliances, such as electric space heaters, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early morning and late evening hours.
  • Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.
  • When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work processes to morning or after 8pm.

 

8:55 a.m. 🥔WHO TOOK THE POTATOES

8:26 a.m. 🚗🚫Best to avoid traveling this weekend

I-70 will be extra I-70. “Secondary” routes that CDOT manages won’t be plowed until the worst of the storm has passed.

 

7:45 a.m. 🔮Models are predicting 1 to 2 feet for the Denver area.

 

Wednesday

 

☃️The latest on what we can expect, courtesy of the National Weather Service in Boulder

An easy-to-read NWS breakdown of the weather

A more detailed NWS breakdown of the weather

 

‼️How much should we be freaking out? 

According to climatologist Peter Bennett Goble, mentally prepare for 8 inches to 2 feet and avoid the “hype.”

Here’s how Goble’s reading the models, which models he’s reading and why they’re all so different.

 

⚙️The plan for snowplows

Courtesy of the City of Denver:

“With a significant snowfall event in the forecast for this weekend, the City and County of Denver is preparing to deploy its big plows to the main streets, its residential plows to the side streets, and heavy equipment, if needed, to move heavier accumulations of snow caused by drifting.

“Crews operating the big plows will begin arriving at 10pm on Thursday, with all drivers on duty by midnight, and starting round the clock coverage through the weekend and into next week, as required.  The snowfall amounts being predicted will result in challenging travel conditions and will likely require several days of continuous plowing operations. We ask for the public’s patience.

“The residential plow drivers are scheduled to work their first shift 3am to 3pm Friday and, as snow starts to accumulate, will take a single pass down the center of each side street. Note the small plows do not bring the street to bare pavement but can be helpful in creating a path to the main streets and preventing deep ice ruts. Additional shifts and passes by the residential plows are planned over the weekend with round the clock coverage.”

 

💉 Where COVID-19 vaccine appointments stand

Providers are monitoring the weather *closely* and notifying anyone whose appointment needs to be rescheduled. This story will be update as more info becomes available.

 

❄️ Good snow things to know

Denver Public School is keeping snow days, even during remote learning (9)

Is Denver bad at snow plowing? (Denverite)

Denver snow: A poetic guide to when it’s really coming down out there (Denverite)

How Denver cleaned up after the blizzard of 1913 (Denver Library)

Denver’s largest snowstorms on record (DP)

 

📷 Some nice snow photos of yesteryear

Greg and Grayson Goodman gaze out at the city on a break from tubing Denver's Ruby Hill. Feb. 25, 2021.

Greg and Grayson Goodman gaze out at the city on a break from tubing Denver's Ruby Hill. Feb. 25, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Grayson Goodman gazes out at the city on a break from tubing Denver's Ruby Hill. Feb. 25, 2021.

Grayson Goodman gazes out at the city on a break from tubing Denver's Ruby Hill. Feb. 25, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Maggie Siple plays catch with her dogs Zoey (right) and Bailey on a snowy day in Rosedale park. Jan. 26, 2021.

Maggie Siple plays catch with her dogs Zoey (right) and Bailey on a snowy day in Rosedale park. Jan. 26, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A man named Carlos slings snow for some extra cash in Denver's East Colfax neighborhood. Nov, 24, 2020.

A man named Carlos slings snow for some extra cash in Denver's East Colfax neighborhood. Nov, 24, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Snow blankets Denver's Central Park neighborhood. Nov, 24, 2020.

Snow blankets Denver's Central Park neighborhood. Nov, 24, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
M. Hecker and Meaghan Elek ski around Sloan's Lake on a cold, foggy evening. April 16, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

M. Hecker and Meaghan Elek ski around Sloan's Lake on a cold, foggy evening. April 16, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Adam Hjermstad and Elenore bomb a sledding slope at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Adam Hjermstad and Elenore bomb a sledding slope at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Martin Lomeli deals with the effects of hitting a big jump with a small sled at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Martin Lomeli deals with the effects of hitting a big jump with a small sled at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Martin Lomeli hits a jump on a saucer sled at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Martin Lomeli hits a jump on a saucer sled at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A John F. Kennedy High School student fails to hit a jump at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A John F. Kennedy High School student fails to hit a jump at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cruz Ortega and Aryel Ramos reel from a hard landing from a jump at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cruz Ortega and Aryel Ramos reel from a hard landing from a jump at Ruby Hill Park on a snow day, Oct. 29, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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