Rain and mountain snow moves across the region today and Friday

Zack Webster's KJCT First Alert Weather - 3/30
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 11:42 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The morning is off to a dry and even sunny start, but rain and snow moves across the region as our Thursday progresses.

Rain and Snow Returns

The morning started off with some clearing skies, but clouds are on the increase again ahead of the arrival of our next rain and snow chance through the rest of the day. Rain and mountain snow becomes more widespread across the region through about 2 PM or 3 PM, then we’ll see scattered rounds of rain and snow through the rest of the afternoon, into your evening commute, and through the overnight hours as well. Scattered snow is expected to continue mostly over the higher elevations of the Western Slope on Friday, then we’ll start clearing out again overnight Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Snowfall Totals

Most of the valleys will stay snow-free, but a couple of locations could see anywhere from a trace to 1 or 2 inches of snow through late Friday night. Most of the rest of the region will generally see between 1 and 4 inches of snow, but 6 to 12 inches of snow is possible in the higher elevations. That includes the Grand Mesa, the Flat Tops, the Gore and Elk Mountains, the Sawatch Mountains, and portions of the San Juan Mountains, and includes the cities of Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte, and Telluride.

Travel Impacts

Primarily rain will lead to wet roads in the valleys, including along Interstate 70 and down Highway 50 into Montrose. Travel will become difficult to dangerous in the mountains, including Interstate 70 east of Glenwood Springs, Highway 139 through Douglas Pass, Highway 65 across the Grand Mesa, Highway 50 from Montrose to Monarch Pass, and Highway 550 through the San Juan Mountains. Expect heavy and potentially blowing snow to reduce visibilities, and quickly create icy and snowy road conditions.

Gusty Winds

We’re already seeing some gusty winds between 35 and 45 miles per hour at Grand Junction Regional Airport, and we’ll likely continue to see wind gusts at least that high through much of the afternoon as well as the front edge of the rain and snow continues to move through the region.

Drier and Warmer Weekend

Skies start clearing out again late Friday night and early Saturday morning around the Western Slope. Most of us will see mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies on Saturday and Sunday, and we’ll very quickly see highs rebound from the middle and upper 40s and lower 50s on Friday to the middle and upper 50s and lower 60s into the weekend. After the rain and snow we’ll see to close out the work week, the weekend will definitely be one you’ll want to get outside and enjoy.

More Rain and Snow Next Week

While timing has changed some, we’re still anticipating another round of rain and snow across the region into early next week. It looks like most of the day on Monday will be dry, then rain and snow starts increasing again overnight Monday night and into early Tuesday morning. Tuesday looks to be the most active day for rain and snow, then we’ll start drying out and turning cooler once again into Wednesday. It again looks mostly like a mountain snow and valley rain event, but we could see some snow mix in with the valleys as well.

Next 24 Hours

Scattered rain and breezy conditions continue to move into the region through the rest of the afternoon with highs in the lower to middle 50s before rain starts to turn us cooler. Some snowflakes could mix in with any lingering rain, particularly in Montrose and Cortez tonight as temperatures fall into the upper 20s and lower 30s. Rain and snow starts to move out of the valleys Friday morning, but cloudy to mostly cloudy skies continue as snow heads for the mountains into Friday afternoon. We’ll turn cooler than today with highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s.