Storm drops 4.6 inches in valley

Forecasters see a chance for more flakes, and maybe a white Christmas

The biggest snowstorm to hit the Grand Valley in nearly three years took its time getting here, but once it arrived it delivered enough of a snowy, icy blow to trigger car accidents and road closures across the Western Slope.

Another system could be on its way in time for Christmas.

A total of 4.6 inches fell at Grand Junction Regional Airport between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the most snow produced by one storm in Grand Junction since 5.1 inches accumulated from Jan. 26-28, 2010, according to Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The 3.7 inches that fell after midnight broke the record for the date, which was 2.4 inches and was set in 1991.

Snow totals elsewhere in the valley ranged from 2 to 6 inches. Powderhorn Mountain Resort reported on its Facebook page that it received a foot of snow.

“It took a while to get here,” Phillips said. “(Tuesday afternoon), most of the heavy snow sat up there on the plateau.”

The storm temporarily closed Colorado Highway 139 over Douglas Pass and triggered a few traffic accidents in the Grand Valley, but no significant injuries were reported.

With the storm pushing onto the Front Range and the Great Plains and clouds clearing, the overnight low plummeted into the single digits in the city and today’s high is expected to reach only into the upper 20s. There will be a gradual warmup heading into the weekend before another storm advances into western Colorado Sunday night or Monday morning, giving the valley a chance for a white Christmas, according to Phillips.

“The thing about this one is it’s not nearly as strong,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it will carry quite as much punch.”


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