Denver area clobbered by heavy snow as 50-plus inches falls over Colorado mountains

As much as 9-10 inches of snow fell in downtown Denver, 1-2 feet fell in the eastern suburbs and more than 4 feet fell in the mountains. Nederland reported 53 inches as of Friday morning.

DENVER – The spring storm that buried the Denver area in inches to feet of snow finally subsided Friday morning. 

The snowfall was quite significant, with 5.7 inches officially recorded at Denver International.

However, that does not capture the scope of the event. As much as 9-10 inches of snow fell downtown, 1-2 feet fell in the eastern suburbs and more than 4 feet fell in the mountains. Nederland reported 53 inches as of Friday morning.

Top snowfall totals in Colorado.
(FOX Weather)


Flights canceled, highways closed due to snow

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed a 50-plus-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in both directions between the western side of the Denver metro and Silverthorne, Colorado, on Tuesday due to safety concerns from the winter weather. Most of the interstate had reopened Friday, though commercial vehicles were also prohibited driving from Vail to Morrison through at least noon.

"We're having trouble with commercial motor vehicles," Matthew Inzeo of the Colorado DOT told FOX Weather Thursday. "Those 18-wheelers who aren't following the law are trying to sneak through and not put chains on their tires, and that's not doing too well when you've got conditions this extreme."


I-25 was no better on Thursday. The Colorado State Patrol posted on social media, "Don’t be fooled! It’s icy and snow-packed. Ramps and side streets are even worse!"

Inzeo said the DOT's 1,600 crews were working around the clock on 12-and-a-half-hour shifts until the storm moved out, and every lane was clear. The state has a total of 875 plows, of which 100 are dedicated to Denver and another 40 handling the "ski corridor" which is from Denver to the Continental Divide past ski resorts.

Colorado Springs officials warned that residential streets might not be plowed until Saturday.

Additionally, more than 800 flight cancelations, almost half of all inbound and outbound flights, were reported at Denver International Airport as of Thursday morning, according to FlightAware

But airport operations were closer to normal on Friday.

Today's flight delays and cancellations at Denver International Airport.
(FOX Weather)


Ahead of the storm, Denver Public School officials announced all schools and administrative offices would be closed on Thursday and Friday due to weather. The U.S. Air Force Academy north of Colorado Springs also announced it would be closed on Thursday and canceled all classes.


The weight of the heavy, wet snow brought down trees and large branches that fell onto power lines, leading to scattered power outages.

Utility companies were working hard to keep up with the outages.

"And they just keep falling," posted West Metro Fire about the power lines blocking streets.

This graphic shows the current power outages in the Rockies and Plains.
(FOX Weather)


This powerful winter storm comes three years to the day Denver saw its last high-impact snowstorm, when the Mile High City saw well over 2 feet of snow during the storm on March 14, 2021.

Lingering snow showers to cause issues

While the snow is mostly done in Denver, a potent upper-level low will continue to spin above the region Friday, bringing snow to the mountains of the Four Corners states, the FOX Forecast Center said.

Travel along I-40 in Arizona and New Mexico will become hazardous in spots into Saturday as pockets of heavy snow develop. 

The upper-level low, cut off from the jet stream, will have nothing to move it along. As a result, it'll continue to spin over the region right into next week. Low-elevation rain showers and high-elevation snow will be present every day, the FOX Forecast Center said.

A three-hour radar loop showing where snow is falling across the Rockies.
(FOX Weather)


A lack of moisture will keep the showers light, so snow amounts should be manageable, and no flooding is expected. Still, more than a foot of snow is likely across the region's highest peaks.