Double-Digit Snowfall Forcing Colorado Flight Cancellations, Shutting Down Highway to Ski Resorts

Double-Digit Snowfall Forcing Colorado Flight Cancellations, Shutting Down Highway to Ski Resorts
A motorist clears snow from her all-wheel-drive vehicle as a late winter storm dropped up to a foot of snow in Denver on March 14, 2024. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo)

DENVER—A major storm dumped heavy snow in Colorado on Thursday—forcing flight cancellations and shutting down a highway that connects Denver to Colorado ski resorts.

“Our city hasn’t seen a storm like this in a few years,” Denver Mayor Mike Johnston posted Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The storm, which began Wednesday night, delivered the slushy, wet snow typical for March, one of the snowiest months in Denver, and wasn’t expected to wind down until Friday morning. The heaviest snow accumulations were expected in Colorado’s Front Range region, where the vast majority of the state’s population lives, with most falling in the foothills and mountains west of Denver. Those higher elevations were expected to get 18 to 36 inches (45 to 91 centimeters), and some amounts exceeding 4 feet (1.2 meters), the National Weather Service said.

Major sections of Interstate 70 were closed in the Colorado mountains, with numerous reports of vehicles stranded on the highway for hours. While a boon to Colorado’s ski industry, the extreme conditions shut down at least one ski resort.

“Stay home !! Troopers are getting stuck trying to get to all the stranded motorists,” the Colorado State Patrol posted on X.

Aspen Springs, in the foothills west of Denver, had more than 3 feet (about 1 meter) of snow as of Thursday morning.

The storm started as rain in the Denver area and turned into snow. The area was expected to get 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of snow, with up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) in the western suburbs, the weather service said. The snow eased up in the morning but was expected to get heavier again in the afternoon and evening.

Denver deployed 36 residential plows starting at 3 a.m. Thursday with the plan to shave the top few inches of snow off streets, to help clear paths to main streets.

Denver International Airport was open early Thursday, but about 800 flights were canceled and others were delayed, according to

The snowstorm comes as other parts of the country face severe weather. Massive chunks of hail pelted parts of Kansas and Missouri on Wednesday night, with storms unleashing possible tornadoes in Kansas.

By Colleen Slevin

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