5 things to know about Wednesday’s storm

From Dec. 20, 2006: A worker with airport operations tries to navigate white out conditions at Denver International Airport. (Photo: Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

DENVER — A major storm is expected to hit Colorado starting Tuesday night.  Most of metro Denver and all of the northeastern Plains are under a blizzard warning. In other parts of the state, there are winter storm warnings, avalanche warnings and high wind warnings.

A Pinpoint Weather Alert Day has been issued for Wednesday. Below are five things the Pinpoint Weather team suggests people know about the storm:

1. In metro Denver, snow totals will vary widely. Unlike most snowstorms, the highest totals will be on the east side of the city. Areas east of Interstate 25, including Aurora, DIA and Parker will see the highest totals. The western suburbs will receive less accumulation. For example, 8 inches are forecast for Parker, while 5 inches are forecast for Wheat Ridge.

2. Even areas with lower snowfall totals will have significant travel impacts. Very strong winds are expected across the metro area and eastern Plains. It will still be difficult to travel in places with less accumulation due to blowing snow and poor visibility. Snow drifts will also make snowfall totals challenging to measure.

3. The precipitation from this storm will begin as rain in metro Denver. It will take several hours to turn to snow. Therefore, the largest travel impacts will arrive midday and last through the afternoon. The evening commute will be much worse than the morning commute.

4. Denver International Airport has already announced hundreds of flight cancellations for Wednesday. Travelers are advised to check their flight status before leaving for the airport. Additionally, road closures — including the shutting down of major highways — are expected.

5. All major metro Denver districts have already canceled school for Wednesday. See a full list of closures here.

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