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13 things to expect from the winter storm hitting Colorado on Wednesday

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DENVER — A strong winter storm is going to bring heavy snow and strong wind to Colorado on Wednesday.

The Pinpoint Weather team issued a Pinpoint Weather Alert Day for Wednesday and Thursday as most of the precipitation starts as rain on Wednesday morning across the Front Range and gradually changes to snow.

The wind will increase substantially with sustained wind by late morning of at least 30-65 mph.

Here are 13 things to expect from the storm from the Pinpoint Weather team.

1. Blizzard warning east of Denver

Interstate 25 is acting as critical weather divider with the heaviest snow and the strongest wind happening east of I-25 — especially on the eastern Plains.

RELATED: Blizzard warnings and what they mean

2. Panhandle hook storm system

This storm is called a “Panhandle Hook Storm System,” which means it has to do with the storm as it relates to the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Storms such as this often can be warmer and generate strong wind.

The track becomes critical in forecasting a storm such as this. More north means we don’t get as much. Chris Tomer explains more.

3. The biggest threats will be high wind and heavy snow

Regardless of the snow, the wind will be a huge impact with this storm system with sustained wind of at least 30-65 mph.

4. Bull’s-eye will be the eastern Plains 

The highest impact of wind and snow occurs over the eastern Plains of Colorado so plan on Interstates 70 and 76 potentially being closed as the storm gets stronger.

5. Blizzard conditions most likely over eastern Plains and Palmer Divide

Blizzard conditions are about the wind and that will be whipping over the eastern Plains on Wednesday as the storm moves through the state.

6. Snow amounts could reach a foot east of Denver

As of right now, we’re forecasting 6-12 inches grand totals east of I-25 with 4-8 inches west of I-25.

Snow Forecast Wednesday-Thursday. Meteorologist Chris Tomer.

7. Interstate 25 will be the divider

I-25 will play a key role in this storm system. There will be less accumulation in the western suburbs and more accumulation and wind east of I-25.

For example, Lakewood could get 4 inches, while 10 inches could fall at Denver International Airport.

8. A 25-mile shift in the track will affect snow amounts

The track this storm takes is key to how much snow will fall. The tiniest shift in track or timing could play a major impact on how much snow falls.

9. Record low atmospheric pressure reading possible

The forecast is 975 mb while the record is 976.3 mb. Chris Tomer explains more about that means around the 3:30 mark of our Facebook Live.

10. Worst commute is Wednesday evening as sun sets.

When the sun goes down, the snow will start to pile up and the evening commute on Wednesday will be a mess.

11. Sustained wind Denver-east 30-65 mph with gusts to 75 mph

Again, the wind will be a huge factor in this storm with 40-75 mph wind everywhere creating horrible visibility.

12. DIA high impact with blizzard conditions

Be sure to check flights because there could be blizzard conditions at the airport creating zero visibility along Pena Boulevard and causing several flight delays.

13. Closure of I-70 and I-76

With the blizzard conditions on the eastern Plains, don’t be surprised if I-70 and I-76 get shut down at some point during the day.

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