Snow pounding mountains, will drop down to valley later today

It’s been a mostly cloudy morning so far in the Grand Valley, with a few snowflakes here and there. But make no mistake — the rain and snow are on their way.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. today until noon Friday for areas including the Grand Valley and the central Gunnison and Uncompahgre River basins, according to the National Weather Service. That includes Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita, Cedaredge, Delta, Hotchkiss and Montrose.

Forecasters are calling for a chance of rain in Grand Junction before 3 p.m., then rain and snow likely this afternoon. Precipitation will become widespread early this evening and switch over to all snow by mid-evening, with the heaviest snow falling between midnight and 9 a.m. Friday. A total of 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected in the valley.

In the higher elevations, where snow has already been falling for several hours, a winter storm warning is in place. That warning covers virtually all of western Colorado — outside of the areas under the winter weather advisory — and northeastern Colorado. The Weather Service is predicting up to 30 inches in some places.

As of 8 a.m., several inches of snow had already fallen in some areas, including 4 inches near Rangely and 6 inches near Steamboat Springs. One area in Routt County has already received 18 inches of snow.

The weather is making for treacherous driving conditions in the high country. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported at 9:30 a.m. that eastbound Interstate 70 reopened in Glenwood Canyon after it was closed for about an hour due to multiple disabled semitrailers.


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