Avalanche risk will increase with more snow

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:48 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Rain and snow will increase across Western Colorado tonight, and it will fall through much of Wednesday.

Avalanche Risk Increasing

Additional snow will increase the already-high threat of avalanches in the High Country.

An Avalanche Warning continues for much of the central and northern mountains of Colorado, including nearly all of the major ski areas: Monarch, Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, Copper Mountain, Eagle, Avon, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Winter Park, and Steamboat Springs. Avalanche Watches for the San Juan Mountains ended earlier this afternoon. An Avalanche Warning means dangerous avalanche conditions are current present, and you should avoid avalanche terrain. An Avalanche Watch means avalanche conditions are expected to develop in 24-48 hours.

More Snow On the Way

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Colorado National Monument, the Uncompahgre Plateau, the Grand Mesa, Battlement Mesa, the Elk Mountains, the Sawatch Mountains, and the San Juan Mountains. These are the areas where the most snow is likely. Wind gusts up to 40 mph will blow the snow and reduce the visibility, making travel difficult, if not dangerous, at times.

Timing The Rain & Snow

Rain will increase in the valleys this evening, especially after about 7 PM, as snow increases over the higher terrain. Rain in the valleys can change to or mix with snow overnight as temperatures chill to near and just below freezing. Accumulation will be limited in the valleys, and any accumulated snow may be washed away during the day Wednesday if the snow changes back to rain. We may get a break from the rain and snow Wednesday afternoon, but another round of rain and snow will arrive during the evening drive. It will be with us through early Thursday morning, but most of the rain and snow should end before the Thursday morning drive.

Forecast Snow Amounts

Snow amounts through Thursday will be generally less than 2 inches along Highway 50 from the Grand Junction area through Delta to Montrose. Amid the higher terrain, 3-7 inches of rain are likely. Along the Continental Divide, up to a foot of snow is possible.

Our Next 24 Hours

Tonight will be cloudy with occasional light rain and mountain snow. Low temperatures by morning will be near 30 degrees around Grand Junction, 30 degrees around Montrose, 30 degrees around Delta, and 29 degrees around Cortez. Wednesday will be cloudy with occasional rain and mountain snow. High temperatures will be near 37 degrees around Grand Junction, 40 degrees around Montorse, 38 degrees around Delta, and 42 degrees around Cortez.