Snow, high winds headed for mountains

Winter weather warnings are posted for much of the high country of Colorado, as a strong storm is expected to bring high winds and sorely needed snow to the mountains today and Sunday.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 8 a.m. Sunday for the Elkhead, Elk, Gore and Park mountains, as well as the central mountain valleys and Flat Tops, while a winter weather advisory is in effect until 8 a.m. Sunday for the Grand and Battlement mesas, Uncompahgre Plateau, Dallas Divide, West Elk, Sawatch and San Juan mountains, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

The areas under the warning could receive eight to 15 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph this afternoon and early evening. The combination of snow and wind will cause occasional whiteout conditions, and forecasters say travel conditions will be poor over Vail and Rabbit Ears passes.

The areas under the advisory could see 3 to 7 inches of snow, particularly on top of Grand Mesa and the Uncompahgre Plateau.

The snow will be welcomed by the state’s ski resorts, many of which have delayed opening or opened only portions of their terrain due to a dry start to the snow season. Powderhorn Mountain Resort is scheduled to open Thursday.
In Grand Junction, there’s a 40 percent chance of snow tonight, although no accumulation is expected. Tonight’s low is expected to drop to around 21 degrees, with tomorrow’s high climbing to just 32.

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