Clouds increase today, snow arrives tonight

Zack Webster's KJCT First Alert Weather - 11/28
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 10:24 AM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - After a mostly clear to clear to the morning, clouds have started to increase across the Western Slope as our next system approaches the region. Clouds will continue to increase through the rest of the morning, then snow showers will develop across the region late this afternoon and through the evening and overnight hours.

TIMING OUT THE SNOW

The first snow showers will start to develop in and around the Vail/Copper Mountain/Leadville portions of the High Country shortly after noon today, then spread south toward the Grand Mesa and west toward Glenwood Springs, Meeker, and Rangely through the rest of the afternoon and into sunset. Snow will continue to fill in across the higher elevations of the Western Slope, including the San Juan Mountains and the Uncompahgre Plateau as well, through the evening an into the overnight hours. The valleys will likely see their first snowflakes after midnight as a band of snow showers--some locally heavy--moves through the region along a cold front. That band of snow will push southeast across the region through the pre-dawn hours early Tuesday morning, then scattered snow showers will continue to persist all across the Western Slope as moisture allows through much of the rest of the morning. Snow showers will start to taper off and increasingly favor the higher elevations once again into the early afternoon, then the snow will completely wind down by Tuesday evening. Clear skies settle back into the region overnight tonight.

HOW MUCH SNOW?

As expected, the highest snowfall amounts will fall over the higher elevations of the Western Slope, favoring the Flat Tops, the High Country, the Grand Mesa, and the eastern portions of the San Juan Mountains. Highest snowfall amounts will generally be between 6 and 12 inches, but there could be some locally higher amounts of above 12 inches, particularly around Crested Butte. The Elkhead and Park Mountains will likely see the highest snowfall amounts of everyone at between 8 and 16 inches. Elsewhere around the region, most of us in the lower elevations could see as little as a trace to 1 inch of snow, to as many as 4 inches of snow depending on elevation and if they catch one of the heavier snow showers.

TRAVEL IMPACTS

Just about everyone around the Western Slope will see some form of winter weather overnight tonight, but travel impacts should stay limited to the higher elevations. Interstate 70 from Silt to Denver, Highway 550 from Eldredge through the San Juan Mountains, Highway 145 from Redvale to Telluride, Highway 133 and 82 from Paonia to Glenwood Springs, and Highway 65 up the Grand Mesa will have the greatest chances for minor to moderate travel impacts due to snow accumulating on the roads.

WEATHER ALERTS

  • A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Grand and Battlement Mesas, the Uncompahgre Plateau, Dallas Divide, and the northwest and southwest San Juan Mountains from 5 PM Monday to 5 PM Tuesday for snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches and wind gusts of up to 45 mph. This includes the cities of Ridgway, Glade Park, Telluride, Ouray, Lake City, and Silverton.
  • A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Gore and Elk Mountains and Central Mountain Valleys, the west Elk and Sawatch Mountains from 5 PM Monday to 5 PM Tuesday for snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches and wind gusts of up to 45 mph. This includes the cities of Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Taylor Park, and Marble.
  • A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Elkhead and Park Mountains and the Flat Tops from 11 AM Monday to 5 PM Tuesday for snow accumulations of 8 to 16 inches and wind gusts as high as 45 miles per hour. This includes the cities of Columbine, Hahns Park, Toponas, Buford, and Trappers Lake.

Drier conditions settle back into the Western Slope overnight Tuesday night and continues through the middle of the week through Thursday. We’ll see mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies with highs warming through the 30s and into the 40s and 50s. A couple more small chances for rain and snow showers arrive by Friday and into the weekend, but there’s still some things that need to be sorted through before we can really talk specifics there.

Meteorologist Zack Webster