Colorado blizzard; Texas tornadoes; heavy rain


Winter and spring were on a collision course on Sunday as parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah were blasted with up to four feet of snow, while Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri were among the states exposed to heavy rainfall, high winds, and flooding possible tornadoes.

Parts of Texas were in recovery mode after the system hit the state with tornadoes and severe storms. In Amarillo, dozens of hikers were evacuated from a trail after two possible tornadoes in the area. Christopher Forbis, Randall County Sheriff, reported hailstones the size of baseball balls.

“Power lines and a cell tower are down,” said Chad Orton, emergency management director for the Amarillo area. “A house was damaged, but the family was in the basement … there were no injuries or deaths.”

In Colorado, a foot of snow had fallen in Denver early Sunday and more were on the way. More than 2,000 flights were canceled at Denver International Airport over the weekend.

“Total snow accumulations of 12-24 inches for the Interstate 25 corridor and up to 3-4 feet in the northern foothills,” warned the National Weather Service. “Wind gusts of 30-40 miles per hour cause some blowing and drifting snow.”

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The Colorado Department of Transportation warned that road closures are very likely and urged people not to make unnecessary drives. The freeways most likely affected were Interstate 25 from Colorado Springs to Wyoming, including Denver and Monument Hill; I-70 to Limon; and I-76 to Fort Morgan, the department said.

In the south and east, AccuWeather warned that Sunday would bring severe weather from eastern Oklahoma and Texas to the Mississippi. The main threats to Sunday storms are likely to be heavy, soaked rains and noxious winds, according to AccuWeather. Parts of Missouri were inundated with 7 inches of rain on Saturday, and more was forecast for Sunday

The National Weather Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, issued a warning of strong and severe storms late Sunday.

“Harmful winds remain the main threat, but an isolated tornado cannot be completely ruled out,” said the weather service.

Heavy, gusty storms can shift east into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys on Monday, AccuWeather said.

Contributor: The Associated Press