Much of the nation has seen a warmer than usual winter this season, but a powerful snow storm sweeping across Colorado is expected to bring colder weather as it heads east.
Blizzard and winter storm warnings extend from eastern Colorado into Kansas, Wyoming, and Nebraska, Friday.
Colorado transportation officials have closed portions of the two main roads crossing the state.
"There's nowhere to go," local resident Cindy Williams said.
The storm stretched as far south as New Mexico and, according to the National Weather Service, snow is falling at two inches an hour in some areas.
Denver's airport has cancelled more than 200 flights so far.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued a warning through Friday, saying two feet of snow or more could overwhelm a weak snow pack making avalanches likely.