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Timetable changes for Colorado snowstorm this weekend; new forecast predicts a bit less snow

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Holly Engelman/The Coloradoan, Wochit

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The powerful low pressure system expected to drop 1 to 5 feet of snow in Colorado this weekend is moving slower than initially forecast.

As of Friday morning, it was lumbering along in the vicinity of the Las Vegas.  However, it remains on track along the southern border of the state to bring heavy snow to the Front Range and even more in the foothills.

Although snow is expected to start falling in the Fort Collins area during the day Saturday, the heaviest snow is expected late Saturday night well into Sunday, with up to 3 inches per hour possible at times.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 5 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday for Fort Collins, all of Larimer County, Boulder, the western suburbs of Denver, Denver, Castle Rock and Greeley.

Here are the latest updates:

Fort Collins snow total change

The weather service’s Friday morning snow total forecast lessened the forecast range of snow for the Fort Collins area to 18 to 24 inches. On Thursday, the forecast range was 24 to 30 inches.

The latest models are favoring heavier snow in the foothills into the northern mountains east of the Continental Divide. Estes Park and the Cameron Peak Fire burn scar area are forecast to receive 24 to 30 inches off snow, with the Cameron Peak area possibly receiving up to 5 feet of snow.    

While that will help drought conditions, it will also cause erosion and debris flow concerns.

[5:30 AM 3/12] Here is the latest snow forecast. 1-2 feet of snow expected across the urban corridor. 2-4 feet in the foothills. Lighter amounts west of the Continental Divide. Rain mixes in across the northeast plains leading to lower amounts. #COwx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder)

Power outages and tree damage

Poudre Valley REA will update members of any power outages from the heavy, wet snow.

It recommends staying up to date with power information these ways:

For one-stop information, visit its website at

For real time outage updates, download its app here.

Visit its social media sites Facebook page and Twitter feed.

To report outages, use the app or call 800-432-1012. 

Xcel Energy’s storm center website page will have updates. You can report outages at  800-895-1999.

Deciduous trees don’t have leaves now so that will alleviate concerns, though the heavy, wet snow could pile up and break some weak branches.

The main concern is evergreen trees. When removing snow from these branches, use a broom and push up on the branches, not down, to safely remove the snow without breaking branches.

Colorado National Guard to be activated

Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday he will activate around 50 members of the National Guard starting at noon Friday through noon Monday to assist with stranded travelers and search and rescue help during the winter storm.

Colorado avalanche danger rises

Colorado has already seen 11 avalanche deaths this winter, nearly double its annual average, and this storm is sure to lure people into the backcountry.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche watch for the mountains west of Fort Collins and Denver from 6 a.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday.

The center said very dangerous avalanche conditions may develop in the afternoon or overnight Saturday as a large amount off snow piles up on a weak base layer. That could lead to backcountry travelers easily triggering avalanches and increasing avalanche size as snow accumulates several feet deep. Expect dangerous avalanche conditions to last into Monday. 

This content was originally published here.