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April 11, 2005 — Residents in the Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains were digging themselves out from two feet and more of snow Monday morning, while some residents of Kansas and Nebraska hoped for calmer weather after Sunday’s severe storms.

A major storm system moved from the western United States and southwest Canada Friday afternoon to settle over the Plains states on Sunday. While many locations saw various forms of precipitation, the Denver area of the heavily populated Front Range, was especially hard hit, according to the NOAA National Weather Service forecast office in Denver. A report from the Denver office noted more than two feet of snow from Sunday through Monday morning.

Sunday’s storm did not quite reach technical requirements of a blizzard in Denver because winds did not stay at 35 mph for three consecutive hours, but blizzard conditions were reached along much of the Front Range. The Denver airport, Interstates 25 and 70, numerous local roads and virtually all schools in the area were closed Monday.

On the east side of Sunday’s storm system, tornadoes developed in rural Kansas. Hail to up to the size of walnuts fell in many areas and thunderstorms brought winds up to 90 mph in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

“This system certainly brought a variety of severe weather conditions to the Central Plains,” said Gary Foltz, acting director of the NOAA National Weather Service’s Central Region Headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. “This storm demonstrated the need to be ready for any kind of weather at this time of year. This single system generated tornadoes, blizzard conditions, high winds and heavy hail in several states. Our forecasters are to be commended for telling residents what was coming as early as last Wednesday. Many people couldn’t avoid the snow or severe weather, but they were able to make preparations before the severe weather hit.”

In western and central Kansas, the storm generated 17 tornado reports in Scott, Trego, Russell, Rush, Graham and Barton counties. There was no major damage reported, though a few farmsteads received minor to moderate damage to roofs and structures.

Front Range residents won’t have to wait long for the snow to depart. The Denver and Pueblo area forecasts call for a 40 percent chance of snow earl Monday, followed by partly cloudy skies and highs in the 40s. Highs on Tuesday could reach the upper 50s to upper 60s.

In Kansas, Monday’s high temperatures will range from near 53 degrees in the Dodge City area to near 43 degrees in Goodland. Tuesday’s highs are expected to be in the mid to upper 60s.

Media contact:

Pat Slattery, NOAA's National Weather Service Central Region: (816) 891-8914

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  Page last modified: 11-Mar-2010 9:35 AM