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Colorado, Wyoming dig out from spring snowstorm

DENVER — A “bomb cyclone” fizzled but a spring snowstorm that hit Colorado and Wyoming still created hazardous road conditions and snarled airport traffic.

Blizzard conditions persisted Thursday morning in the northeast corner of Colorado but all warnings were canceled in the two states by the afternoon as the storm moved away, allowing residents to start digging out.

Some schools remained closed.

Road crews reopened hundreds of miles of interstate highways in northeast Colorado, and all major highways were open in Wyoming.

Denver International Airport was open but hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed Thursday. Operations were expected to return to normal later in the day.

The storm didn’t live up to predictions that it could develop into another bomb cyclone such as the one that struck the two states and Montana on March 13.

A bomb cyclone is a created by a rapid drop in air pressure.

National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Lyons in Cheyenne said the current storm system developed farther from the Rockies than expected and didn’t bring the high winds of last month’s storm.

“Definitely not of the same caliber,” Lyons said. “The March 13 storm was pretty rare. All things considered, this I guess is more of your prototypical blizzard if there’s such a thing.”

Still, the storm packed a punch, dumping over a foot (30.5 centimeters) of snow in some places.

Cheyenne received just over 7 inches (17.7 centimeters), with snowfall on Wednesday breaking a record for April 10 that had stood since 1905.

In Colorado, 9 inches (22.8 centimeters) fell in the Fort Collins area and around a foot (30.5 centimeters) was recorded in the mountains.

Forecasters expected a slow warm-up will minimize the danger of immediate flooding from melting snow.

National Weather Service hydrologist Triste Huse said daytime temperatures would reach only into the 40s for the next few days and dip below freezing at night.

The weather was blamed for an accident involving a Colorado State Patrol trooper on Wednesday in southwest Colorado. The trooper was investigating an accident on a slickened U.S. 160 when his patrol car was hit from behind.

During the March 13 blizzard, state trooper Cpl. Daniel Groves was struck and killed by a car as he helped a driver who had slid off Interstate 76 north of Denver.

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