DENVER
12/22/2011 10:04 am ET Updated Dec 27, 2011

First Day Of Winter: Colorado Gets Blanketed With Snow Right Before The Holiday Weekend (VIDEO)

Winter officially arrived with the Winter Solstice Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. and with it came a heavy dumping of snow across the state, CBS4 reports.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for Denver and the Front Range for heavy snow and blowing snow starting Wednesday and lasting through 11 a.m. Thursday stating snowfall totals for the the Denver area were in the 5 to 10 inch range with up to 17 inches in the foothills west of Boulder. From the Warning release:

Travel will be hazardous with snow covered and icy roads. Travel on secondary roads may become difficult or impossible in and near the foothills where a foot of snow will fall. Travelers should consider waiting until later today for travel in Northern Colorado... and additional delays or alternate routs may be advisable for travel to Southern Colorado or New Mexico.

Fox31 reports that road conditions are "snowpacked and slick with little or no lane definition visible." Due to the treacherous roads, communities in Denver, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Centennial and Fort Collins are on accident alert for the morning commute.

The Denver Post reports an additional 1 to 3 inches are expected to fall before the storm moves out of Colorado late Thursday morning. All this snow will certainly delay the morning commute for most, but it also means that the onslaught of holiday deliveries could be delayed just three days before Christmas. UPS and USPS are not expecting to inform customers of delays, they told The Denver Post, however FedEx is warning customers that there could be delays in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas due to "local road conditions" left over from the storm that passed through the region earlier in the week.

There are 53 schools and businesses that are calling it a snow day with either full closures or late starts on Thursday, according to 7News. See the full list of closures and delays here.

Denver International Airport is reporting some delays while planes get de-iced and expects to cancel 30-40 flights only to rural or mountain towns, on Thursday, 9News reports. For those traveling over the holiday weekend, 9News also lists several helpful tips for safe and timely flying here.

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