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Storm moves out of Colorado, bitter cold moves in

DENVER — The snow moved out of Colorado Wednesday, only to be replaced by clearing skies and dangerously cold temperatures in the forecast.

Lows were expected to fall to near 20 degrees below zero in some places in Colorado’s central and northern mountains before sunrise Thursday morning.

The low in Denver was forecast to drop to 7 degrees. The wind chill could could make the feel-like temperature well below zero.

A Winter Weather Advisory for metro Denver and the Front Range was canceled Wednesday afternoon after most places in the city received a couple of inches of snow.

A Blizzard Warning remained in effect for the Eastern Plains until 8 p.m. Wednesday for blowing and drifting snow, where strong winds were making for miserable conditions.  

155 miles of I-70 was closed eastbound from Airpark Rd. east of Denver to the Kansas state line because of treacherous driving conditions. I-70 westbound and many other highways reopened to traffic Wednesday night.

Snowfall had spread across metro Denver by 5 a.m. Temperatures plummeted into the 20s as a blast of arctic air accompanied the storm. Several schools were closed or delayed.

The Foothills received the heaviest snowfall. Some places in western Jefferson County received 10-12″. Estes Park had about 10″. See more snow totals here.

Ski areas are rejoicing. Many of them had received 12-18″ of new snow before this new wave passed through the state. It’s great news since they had not seen much snowSnow in New Castle on Dec. 19, 2012. (Photo: Ramon Romero)

Snow in New Castle on Dec. 19, 2012. (Photo: Ramon Romero)

at all this season until now.

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There were numerous crashes that made the morning commute a slow and long ordeal for thousands of drivers. It was expected that the evening commute would be better, but still slow.

“After a tough morning commute that found our plows confined in rush hour traffic, great progress on Denver’s streets was made throughout the rest of the day,” a Denver Public Works spokesperson says. “Crews plowed accumulation throughout the city and applied de-icing materials to help break down remaining snow-pack.”

Drivers need to be aware that slick conditions are likely to develop after sundown as the temperatures drop into the low teens Wednesday night.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Denver International Airport spokeswoman Laura Coale says flight delays were minor Wednesday afternoon. They were the result of deicing operations, and not because of snowfall at the airport.

Weather resources:

Closings and delays
Snow Totals
LIVE Snow Stick
Watches and Warnings
Interactive Radar
Ski Reports