Winter storm to hit Denver and Colorado airports

American Airlines issued this weather travel alert for Colorado:

American is closely monitoring the winter storm currently expected to bring heavy snow and strong winds through several Colorado cities. The safety of our customers and team members is the airline’s No. 1 priority, and the team will remain in contact with those impacted by this harsh winter storm.

Earlier this week, American issued a travel alert for nine stations in Colorado, allowing customers whose travel plans are impacted by this storm to rebook without change fees. Customers can reschedule their travel on aa.com or by contacting Reservations at 800-433-7300 in the U.S. or Canada. If a customer chooses not to fly to/from an airport covered by the current waiver, American will waive change fees for future travel. Customers are also encouraged to check the status of their flight on aa.com.

The National Weather Service issued this storm warning:

…A major winter storm is expected to impact the central Rockies and central High Plains throughout the weekend…

…Severe thunderstorms and flash flooding over portions of the central to southern Plains this weekend will move into the mid-Mississippi Valley on Monday…

…Critical fire danger for much of New Mexico and parts of western Texas…

The stage is set for a rather energetic low pressure system to bring multiple forms of hazardous weather across the central portion of the country through the weekend as a cold upper-level low exiting the Southwest interacts with a stationary front across the central Plains. The stationary front has been the focus for bouts of severe thunderstorms together with locally heavy rain across the central Plains to the mid-Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, the cold upper low is currently spreading higher elevation snows into the Four-Corners region of the southwestern U.S. As the upper low edges closer toward the central Plains today, snow will become heavier and will continue to expand into the central Rockies later today. The intensifying storm will also ingest additional Gulf moisture and dump more heavy rain across the central Plains today. The heavy rain will then lift north and northwestward toward the central High Plains later today as the low pressure system intensifies further. In the mean time, heavy snow and possibly blizzard conditions are expected to envelop the Front Range of Colorado and Wyoming.

The storm should reach peak intensity on Sunday, bringing snowfall amounts of possibly 4 feet for the highest elevations while one foot to two feet could be quite common across the nearby central High Plains.

Widespread travel impacts are likely as strong winds combining with snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour to produce blizzard conditions for some areas. Blizzard Warnings, Winter Storm Watches and Warnings have been issued for much the central Rockies to the central High Plains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. At the same time, strong to severe thunderstorms are forecast to move across the southern Plains ahead of a strong cold front associated with the intensifying low pressure system, reaching into the mid-Mississippi Valley by Monday. In addition, dry and strong downslope winds to the south of the storm are expected to promote elevated to critical fire danger across the southern High Plains.

Denver International Airport (DEN) issued this statement on social media: