Spotty snow possible Saturday, then bigger snow arrives Monday

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 5:21 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The main focus of our weather story on this Friday evening is an approaching storm system that will affect us on Monday. Before you check out for the weekend, be sure you’re aware that snow could make travel difficult on Monday, especially in the mountains.

Could Monday’s Snow Choke?

As we’ve mentioned previously, this is a storm system that has potential to be significant, but it also has potential to choke. The setup, which includes high pressure to our north and low pressure to our south - all at ground level - tends to set up an east-to-west downslope wind off of the Continental Divide. However, stronger upper level winds may be enough to offset that. It seems more likely that the downslope wind will break up the snow at times rather than choke the entire event.

Most Updated Timing

Based on our latest data on Friday evening, snow will be tracking southward Sunday evening through northwestern Colorado. By 5 AM Monday, snow will be increasing over the Western Slope - at first over the higher terrain. The snow will start to fill in along Highway 50 in the valleys as the morning drive is winding down - so after about 8 AM. Snow could become more widespread as it increases south of I-70. Brief, cold rain may lead off before changing to snow around Delta, Montrose, and Nucla. The evening drive will likely be a mess, and snow will fall throughout much of the night. It should start breaking up, but lingering areas of snow could be around through about midday Tuesday before it ends completely.

Early Look At Accumulation

An early look at snowfall amounts is not set in stone. This can change, but just to give an early idea, up to 4-6 inches of snow is possible around Grand Junction with 1-4 inches down Highway 50 from Delta to Montrose. That’s not to say we will all get this much as some local variation is possible. Snow accumulation as high as 12-16 inches is possible on the Grand Mesa and around Elk Mountains, including areas around Aspen, Marble, and Crested Butte. Up to a foot of snow can fall over the San Juans. The High Country will get some healthy snow. Our northern mountains around Steamboat Springs could get a dump of snow in excess of two feet through Tuesday night.

Our Next 24 Hours

This evening will be partly to mostly cloudy with a very small chance for brief snow. We’ll cool from near 30 degrees around 6 PM to mid-20s by 10 PM. Most of the snow will stay over the mountains. Accumulation in the valleys will be limited to a light dusting, if anything. The rest of tonight will be mostly cloudy. Low temperatures by morning will be near 21 degrees around Grand Junction, 18 degrees around Montrose, 20 degrees around Delta, and 12 degrees around Cortez. Saturday will be mainly cloudy. Snow will fall over the mountains, and brief, spotty snow is possible in the valleys along Highway 50. Most areas in the valleys will not get snow. High temperatures will be near 35 degrees around Grand Junction, 35 degrees around Montrose, 35 degrees around Delta, and 36 degrees around Cortez.