First storm of 2017 brings snow, cold temperatures, forces several schools to close

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DENVER -- Denver metro area residents began digging out from the first storm of 2017 that brought snow and cold temperatures on Thursday morning, making driving treacherous and forcing the closure of several schools.

Snow totals ranged from 3.5 inches at Denver International Airport to 8.5 inches in Arvada to 11 inches in Black Hawk to nearly 30 inches east of Steamboat Springs.

The snow made travel tough in the Denver metro area and in the mountains, where up to 1 foot of snow fell in some places. Eastbound Interstate 70 was closed at Vail and Silverthorne because of poor conditions and several spun-out vehicles. It has since reopened.

A winter storm warning expires at 11 a.m.

Airlines canceled 145 flights at Denver International Airport, and Pena Boulevard was icy and snow-packed.

Several schools called off classes on Thursday because of the snow and cold temperatures. Several businesses and government offices were delayed or closed because of the storm.

Snow will continue on Thursday morning but will begin to taper off by noon.

The storm led the National Western Stock Show to cancel Thursday's annual Stock Show Parade down 17th Street in Denver because of the risk of injury to people and animals. It will not be rescheduled.

Behind the storm, temperatures will remain cold, with Denver only reaching a high of 4 degrees. By the afternoon, the sun will come out, but it will still remain bitterly cold.

Temperatures will plunge overnight, getting to minus-13 in Denver and minus-18 in Fort Collins on Friday morning.

Snow totals were piling up in the mountains and snow will continue until midday after another 4-10 inches of accumulation. Highs will be in the single digits and teens.

After the cold Friday morning, temperatures will quickly rebound. Highs will reach the 20s on Friday, the 30s on Saturday, and then hit the 40s and 50s for Sunday and Monday.

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