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A spring storm hit New Mexico Tuesday as rain and a little snow and hail fell in the Los Alamos area.
It is expected to turn to snow later in the day Forecasters said fire conditions are considered dangerous and that widespread sub-freezing temperatures are expected to follow in the wake of the system Tuesday night.
Up to 12 inches of snow could accumulate in the northern mountains.
The storm has so far proved less potent than originally predicted in Colorado because a cold front has been lingering to the north. Wyoming has been hit harder, with over a foot falling in Lander.
Up to around 10 inches of snow had fallen in Colorado’s mountains by dawn. Another 5 to 10 inches was possible in some locations but final snowfall amounts would vary quite a bit, National Weather Service forecaster Jim Daniels said.
Up to a foot had been in expected in Denver but forecasters are now calling for around 5 inches.
The storm has canceled 465 flights at Denver International Airport and deicing was causing departing flights to be delayed by as much as a half hour.
Blizzard warnings are also in effect from south of Denver to the New Mexico line and in northwestern Colorado. Winds gusting up to 50 mph were expected there.
As the storm moved in Monday night, spotters reported two tornadoes near Akron in eastern Colorado.
Northern California was first to feel the lashing blasts of the storm Monday, which spread to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.
At least a dozen trees came down in San Francisco, police officer John Tozzini told KGO-TV, which reported that more than 20,000 utility customers lost power in the region. A swath of outages occurred across the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the Sacramento Bee reported.
A tree smashed into a Sacramento home where four friends were playing bridge, but they didn’t stop playing their game Monday, according to KCRA.