Storm expected to dump snow in high country

A state snowpack that’s dropped to its lowest level in a decade will receive a boost thanks to a pair of weather systems that moved into western Colorado overnight.

The bone-dry Grand Valley should see some precipitation, too, though it won’t be much.

The southwestern San Juan, West Elk and Sawatch Mountains are under a winter storm warning until midnight tonight, with forecasts calling for 8 to 16 inches of snow. Grand and Battlement mesas, the Uncompahgre Plateau, the northwest San Juan Mountains and much of the central and northern mountains are under a winter weather advisory and could receive 6 to 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Meteorologist Matthew Aleksa said the moisture is being produced by a low pressure system pushing into the area off the coast of southern California and a cold front dropping down from the Northwest.

“The mountains will get quite their fair share (of snow), which they need,” he said.

Aleksa said precipitation in the lower elevations should begin as rain in the morning before changing to snow. Expect less than an inch of snow, he said.

Grand Junction is off to a dry winter thus far. The only precipitation recorded at Grand Junction Regional Airport since Dec. 23 has been a trace on Jan. 7. The city has recorded 0.35 inch of precipitation since Dec. 1, more than a half-inch below normal.

Another storm is expected to move into the state and bring more snow to the mountains by the end of this week, Aleksa said.


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