Two rounds of rain and snow likely through Wednesday

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:23 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Two different disturbances in close succession will bring a chance for rain and snow to Colorado’s Western Slope. The first disturbance will arrive tonight. The second disturbance will be the bigger deal. It will arrive Tuesday night.

Our First Round of Rain & Snow

The first disturbance tonight will bring snow to the higher elevations on either side of Highway 50 - the Grand Mesa, the Bookcliffs, the Colorado National Monument, and the Uncompahgre Plateau. Spotty areas of rain or snow are possible along Highway 50, especially on the Grand Junction end of the Grand Junction to Montrose zone of Highway 50, but the valleys will end up being mostly dry. Spotty high-elevation snow will linger through about 7-8 AM Tuesday, then it will end. After midday, spotty valley rain and mountain snow are possible, but the afternoon precipitation will not be widespread and not everyone is guaranteed rain or snow.

Our Second Round of Rain & Snow

A second disturbance will arrive Tuesday night. Valley rain and mountain snow will increase between 9 PM and midnight. The valley rain will change to snow overnight and then start breaking up between 3 AM and 6 AM Wednesday. Fallen snow and patchy areas of falling snow will mean slippery, slushy spots on the roads for the Wednesday morning drive. By the morning drive, however, snow will be spotty and on-and-off rather than widespread as it will be earlier in the morning.

Expected Snowfall Accumulation

Between the two rounds of rain and snow, up to 1-2 inches of snow will fall along Highway 50 from Grand Junction to Delta to Montrose. Some locally variation is possible, and it may be that most of that snow melts instead of accumulating. Higher amounts of snow are likely up high. Accumulation can be as high as 12-16 inches on the Grand Mesa, 6-9 inches around Parachute and along the Uncompahgre Plateau with 16-20 inches in the Elk Mountains around Marble and Crested Butte, and up to 12-16 inches in the central San Juans, including areas around Telluride.

Our Next 24 Hours

Tonight will be cloudy with areas of snow over the mountains and spotty areas of rain in the valleys. Low temperatures by morning will be near 34 degrees around Grand Junction, 34 degrees around Montrose, 34 degrees around Delta, and 31 degrees around Cortez. Tuesday will be mainly cloudy. Spotty rain and mountain snow are possible, but precipitation will not be widespread and many areas will stay dry. More rain and snow will arrive overnight. High temperatures will be near 45 degrees around Grand Junction, 47 degrees around Montrose, 46 degrees around Delta, and 47 degrees around Cortez.