Colorado under a heavy blanket of spring snow

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By Forrest Brown

CNN

(CNN) — Colorado is living up to its reputation as a state with a wild side — for weather, that is.

A spring storm has brought enough snow to make even hardened residents used to it take notice.

By Sunday morning, Denver had received 11.8 inches of snow so far, making it the second largest snowfall there this season, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris. Denver averages 8.9 inches of snow during April, so it’s already received 133% of its April average, he said.

Reports of up to a whopping 40 inches of snow were received along the Front Range.

Interstate 70 was shut down Saturday night because of heavy snow, but it has reopened, according to the Colorado DOT.

The amount of snow within a tight range was also widely variable, according to CNN affiliate KDVR. For instance, 35 inches of snow was reported in Golden, about 15 miles west of Denver, while Morrison, just 17 miles to the southwest, reported 3 inches.

An additional 6 to 12 inches is possible through Monday morning in the southern Rockies, Morris said.

‘Everyone is pretty excited’

For natives, this kind of snow is something to take in stride — and enjoy.

Andrew Knudtsen, a 51-year-old economist and resident of Denver, said, “Everyone is pretty excited. Everyone loves snow.”

Knudtsen was born in southern Colorado and also spent 10 years in Vail. He points out that these big swings in weather are par for the course in his home state; it’s expected to be almost 80 degrees in the Denver area by Friday. “It’s a little bit of a hassle now, but in five days, it will be gone,” he said.

And for many in Colorado, all this extra white stuff will turn into green. “Snow is a major driver for the economy,” Knudtsen said.

The spring snow is also great for people who love winter sports, with CNN affiliate KCNC reporting euphoric skiers at the Breckenridge’s Spring Fever Festival.

Meanwhile, in warmer climes …

Meanwhile, the eastern half of the United States is basking under a high pressure system that’s bringing warmer temperatures.

At 5 p.m. ET Sunday, Atlanta was enjoying a sunny day and 73 degrees with residents casting an eye more toward its hot and humid summers with winter-type weather in the rear view mirror.

CNN Meteorologist Sean Morris contributed to this report.

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