Snow clings to flowers in Denver on Wednesday. As much as a foot of snow is forecast for some areas of Colorado.
Snow clings to flowers in Denver on Wednesday. As much as a foot of snow is forecast for some areas of Colorado. Ed Andrieski/AP
Update at 4:55 P.M ET: The Associated Press reports that Cheyenne, Wyo. has now received at least 15 inches of snow.
Our original post: It's a good thing Punxsutawney Phil's handler admitted he'd misinterpreted the early spring forecast from the world-famous groundhog weather prognosticator. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Wednesday for parts of Colorado. It says the heavy snow that has blanketed swaths of the Rocky Mountains is moving east:
"May Day snowfall event gradually coming to an end. ... Snow, heavy at times, will affect southeast Wyoming and the southern half of the western Nebraska panhandle." Radio station KGAB reported that Laramie County School Districts 1 and 2 are closed.
Unless they're tired of their sleds, children in the Midwest could turn their pajamas inside out hoping for a snow day of their own. The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore tweets this warning for Minneapolis:
The wintry weather will be felt over the next few days from Minnesota south to the Texas Panhandle. Residents of Amarillo will get a bifurcated week: The city set a record temperature of 95 degrees Tuesday but could see the mercury drop to as low as 25 degrees by Thursday, reports the Amarillo Globe-News. A freeze watch will go into effect tonight.
May snowstorms are rare, but not unusual. Wunderground breaks down a list of states from the Dakotas to the East Coast with record May snowfall dating back to the 1800s. However much falls, the precipitation will land on drought-stricken land, but that's an area that's had too much rain in the past few weeks. AccuWeather warns the new snow could delay planting for farmers and worsen flooding problems along major rivers and tributaries that have caused damage.
Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly placed the closed schools in Laramie, Wyo., instead of Laramie County, Wyo.