DENVER (AP) -- Winds are increasing ahead of a strong spring storm that's forecast to bring up to 2 feet of snow to parts of Colorado's mountains.
Wind gusts of up to 45 mph were reported Monday in southwestern Colorado. Rain turning to snow is expected later in the day. In the meantime the gusty winds have raised the risk of wildfires starting and spreading along lower areas western half of Interstate 70 and in southwestern corner, where the snowpack declined in March.
Thunderstorms could develop in Denver before the temperature plunges and rain turns into snow late Monday.
The storm comes around the time the state's snowpack usually reaches its maximum point. Currently, it's only at 69 percent of average following a second dry year, prompting watering restrictions along the Front Range.