Spring snowstorm blankets valley

Snow is tapering off in the Grand Valley this morning, but not before several inches of heavy, wet flakes coated leafing trees and shrubs, closed school in De Beque and triggered several accidents around western Colorado, including a semi tractor-trailer that jackknifed on U.S. Highway 50.

A week after a storm that was forecast to bring as much as 4 inches of snow to Grand Junction never materialized, the largest storm of the 2012-13 snow season moved into the Western Slope overnight and packed a punch. Snowfall totals around the region reported to the National Weather Service varied widely as of 9:45 a.m.: 7 inches on the Redlands and in Collbran, 6 inches 18 miles southeast of Grand Junction, 4.8 inches in New Castle and 4 inches in Montrose.

At Grand Junction Regional Airport, 4.6 inches of snow was recorded as of 9 a.m., making it the biggest storm of the season, according to meteorologist Matthew Aleksa.

A winter storm warning for the valley expired at 10 a.m. and was replaced by a freeze watch that will be in effect from 9 p.m. today until 9 a.m. Thursday. Overnight lows tonight are expected to drop into the mid-20s, which could threaten peach trees that have blossomed, according to the Weather Service.

Both eastbound lanes and one westbound lane of U.S. 50 at the Mesa County-Delta County line have reopened after a semi crashed around 6:30 a.m., according to authorities. There was no immediate word on injuries.

The De Beque School District 49-JT indicated on its website this morning that school has been canceled today. In addition, School District 51 announced on its Facebook page this morning that all athletic events today have been canceled and will be rescheduled.

Check back with GJSentinel.com for updates during the day and read the full story in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel.


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