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PHOTOS: Historic May Snowstorm Buries Rockies, Plains

An early-spring snowstorm unleashed over the Rockies Tuesday into Wednesday before spreading into the Plains, where totals broke numerous long-standing records.

The Rockies received more than 2 feet of snow in parts of Colorado and Wyoming. As much as 18 inches were dumped on Larimer County, Colo.

Colorado Snow Totals

City
Inches
Estes Park
16.7
Fort Collins
15.0
Loveland
10.0
Boulder
8.0

For Denver, temperatures pushed to 80 degrees on Monday before the big storm, falling just short of the 83-degree record high for the date set in 1948. A stark contrast was felt by Tuesday night when temperatures plummeted to 38 degrees F.

"Wild temperature swings are common in Denver this time of year. However, the high of 80 degrees on Monday was unusual," AccuWeather Meteorologist Meghan Evans said.

By Wednesday morning, snow had begun falling across the city. The storm totaled 3.2 inches at Denver International Airport, causing hundreds of delays more than 30 cancellations.

As snow moved slowly into the Plains, several major cities set new records for their highest May snowfall totals including Omaha, Mason City, Iowa, and Rochester, Minn.

For some cities, these records dated back to the 1800s.

Parts of Omaha, Neb., received between 3 and 6 inches of snow with this system. Prior to this storm, Omaha has never received more than 2 inches of snow in May.

Des Moines, Iowa, also broke their 1907 May record of 1.2 inches of snow.

As snow spread farther east on Thursday, travel become treacherous on I-70, US36 and US83 in Kansas. They were snow- and ice-covered as of the late-morning hours.

I-90 and I-35 were also marked by the state's Department of Transportation as dangerous and advised against travel.

Wichita, Kan., Kansas City, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa, will continue to see snow into Friday.

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