A Frontier Airlines flight skipped off the Colorado Springs Airport runway, schools and businesses closed en masse, Interstate 25 slowed to a crawl amid fender-benders and spin-outs as snow plow crews struggled to gain on piling snow.
Bruised but not beaten, with no serious injuries reported, Colorado Springs survived the first round of snowfall — a record amount for the date — with the next round of a three-round fight expected to start Tuesday afternoon.
For the third time this October, heavy snow fell over the surrounding Pikes Peak region for nearly 24 hours, with up to 9 inches recorded in northern parts of the city and 6 inches elsewhere, the National Weather Service said. The average of 6.8 inches recorded by the agency in Colorado Springs was a record, the Weather Service said.
The jury was out on Tuesday’s storm, with some forecasters predicting another heavy dump and others calling for more blow than snow.
“Tomorrow’s storm could be an entirely different animal,” said KKTV chief meteorologist Brian Bledsoe.
With gusts topping 25 mph, Woodman Road and areas north could see up to 6 inches of snowfall, while downtown Colorado Springs could see 3 inches. Faster wind speeds will lead to less snowfall downtown, less wind would mean even more snow, said Bledsoe.
Meanwhile, Weather Service meteorologist Brian Carlberg, is predicting that the second round of snow will be worse than the first, with frigid night-time temps fovering in the single digits and as much as 8 inches of fresh powder downtown.
The little bit of melt Monday could turn to ice Tuesday, turning roads into rinks, officials warned.
Plows in Colorado Springs remained on the job Monday night, and expected to work through the night, Colorado Springs Public Works Operations Manager Jack Ladley said. The low temperatures countered de-icing efforts and Ladley said his crews were working to keep arterials clear.
Over the course of 24 hours, National Weather Service reported snowfall of 5.5 inches at the Colorado Springs Airport, 6.7 inches in Manitou Springs, 4 inches in Woodland Park, 5.3 inches in Monument, and 6.8 inches in Black Forest.
The snow Monday caused mayhem at the Colorado Springs Airport when an inbound flight from Phoenix overshot the runway amid low visibility. The plane was towed to the gate with no injuries, but not before delaying several other flights.
After Tuesday, the Weather Service is bracing for round three on Wednesday, with up to two more inches of snow in Colorado Springs.
But better weather is on the way, with Thursday dawning clear and sunny weather expected through Sunday with highs in the 40s predicted for much of the Pikes Peak region.
For updates on the coming storms, stick with gazette.com on the internet.