The Latest: Snow off to a slow start in Rockies

DENVER (AP) " The Latest on snowfall in the Rocky Mountains (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

Forecasters have scaled back their prediction on how much snow will fall in the Rocky Mountains from the first big storm of the season.

The National Weather Service says it now expects 8 inches or more in the higher elevations. Earlier, they predicted 10 inches or more.

Autumn snow has been scarce in the Rockies, forcing some ski areas to push back opening day and causing some nervousness about how much water will be available next spring for the Colorado River.

Water managers pay close attention to Rocky Mountain snows because they determine how much water flows into the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the Southwest.

Ski industry officials say at least seven resorts in Colorado and New Mexico have postponed their opening day, down from eight that were previously expected to postpone.

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12:10 a.m.

Autumn snow has been scarce in the Rocky Mountains, forcing some ski areas to push back opening day and causing some nervousness about how much water will be available next spring for the Colorado River.

But the first big storm of the season is expected to blow into Colorado and Utah Thursday. Forecasters say it could bring up to 10 inches of snow at higher elevations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the Colorado snowpack is off to its worst start in more than 30 years. At least eight ski resorts in Colorado and New Mexico have postponed their opening day.

Water managers pay close attention to the Rocky Mountain snowfall because it determines how much water flows into the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the Southwest.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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