Blizzard Hits Eastern Plains, Snowpocalypse 2015 Begins?

A blizzard heading straight for Denver has prompted “Snowpocalypse 2015” warnings. The Eastern Plains region has been dealt an odd hand of weather warnings this Veterans’ Day. The region has received blizzard alerts, wind advisory warnings, and tornado warnings during the past 24 hours.

Snow began dumping on Denver early Wednesday morning, blanketing most of eastern Colorado, western Nebraska, and Kansas with the white stuff and prompting blizzard warnings. Parts of Missouri and Iowa were threatened with high winds and tornadoes at the same time, the Daily Mail reports, while threatening parts of Iowa and Missouri with tornadoes.

Denver International Airport cancelled approximately 50 flights due to the poor weather conditions, according to airport spokesman Heath Montgomery. Ground crews have so far been able to keep up with the snowfall and prevent the cancellation of yet more flights.

Todd Dankers, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, predicted that up to one foot of snow has fallen in the Rockies. Approximately three inches have fallen over Denver, but the snow is expected to continue to come down until the early hours of the morning.

The backend of the blizzard like storm will push more cold air to the skies over Nebraska and Kansas, Storm Prediction Center forecaster Jared Guyer said. Approximately eight inches of snow accumulation is expected to appear in some spots around the region.

“It’s definitely a chance of severe weather, a severe weather risk no doubt worth paying attention to,” Guyer added.

A blizzard warning, or winter storm warning, is currently in effect for portions of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Wyoming, and Nebraska. The winter advisory warning will remain in effect into the late afternoon and early evening hours in some regions within the Eastern Plains. Sustained wind gusts of up to 40 miles-per-hour are expected. Some high winds could gust up to 60 miles-per-hour due to the emerging weather system.

An excerpt from the AccuWeather forecast regarding the Eastern Plains blizzard follows.

“The storm has had a history of producing blizzard conditions with very low visibility and slippery travel due to snow and winds gusting between 30 and 40 mph in northeastern Colorado. Be sure to bundle up if you have to head outdoors as AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will range from 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit for most of Wednesday. Snowflakes can mix in at the tail end of the storm in parts of eastern Nebraska during Wednesday night, following a surge of warmth from Wednesday.”

Blowing and drifting snow in the region is expected to cause “significant” travel problems throughout the snowstorm. A blinding blast of snow which blew into the region was also accompanied by thunder and lightening in the Ogallala, Nebraska, area early Wednesday.

The #snowpocalypse hashtag went viral as Denver area residents posted photos and videos of the approaching blizzard on social media.

The Nebraska State Patrol revealed that multiple minor accidents occurred when vehicles slid off slushy or icy roads, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports. No injuries occurred due to the accidents during the unseasonably early snowfall.

The National Weather Service has warned residents in the affected Eastern Plains to stay at home due to possible white-out conditions which may be emerging due to the winter weather front moving in. Yesterday up to 18 inches of wet snow fell in Nevada, causing power to be knocked out to thousands of residents and Reno schools to close.

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