The final round of snow for our December to remember storm series continues today.
Technically the winter storm in the higher began yesterday in the higher elevations with light snow and strong wind speeds. These mountain zones remain under a Winter Storm Warning through early Saturday morning January 1, 2022. Grand Junction has been added to the Winter Storm Warning while Delta and Montrose remain in a Winter Weather Advisory through Friday night December 31, 2021. This advisory will also include all lower/mid elevation communities of Montrose and Delta counties that were not previously in the W. Storm Warning. Wind is going to be a big factor along with accumulating snow totals ranging from 2″-8″ for the Highway 50 corridor. To narrow that snow spread, here is a more specific list. Grand Junction is expecting an inch of snow Friday morning, another inch of snow Friday afternoon and another inch of snow Friday evening. That 3″ snow total forecast (a low end forecast) should fall short of the record snowfall from 1915 of 5.5″. There is a “but” to be discussed down below. Montrose will be getting an inch of snow Friday morning, 2-3″ of snow Friday afternoon and another 2-3″ of snow Friday night into Saturday morning. That puts Montrose close to 8″ of snow with this final snow storm of 2021. Snow totals are likely to go deeper than this low end forecast.
The previously mentioned “but” is a caveat for the snow forecast of 3″ at GJ and 4″ at Montrose. There will be a cold front that will get stalled out just north of Grand Junction by lunch December 31, 2021. This stall will enhance the snow fall rate and trigger snow squalls. More snow/deeper snow is expected and the less modest snow total appears to approach the half foot mark for the Grand Valley and Montrose. Snow squall warnings are possible from the N.W.S. and should be taken seriously if you are driving. This blowing snow scenario will severely limit your ability to see while driving, reducing visibility to near zero and will likely cause serious accidents. Avoid travel if you can or do so slowly and patiently. If you have to pull over, pull as far over as possible without getting stuck and avoid keeping your foot on the brake! Your brake lights can lead oncoming traffic into your parked car. The wind and the snow will continue through Friday afternoon for the lower elevations and through Friday night for the mountain zones. The mountain zones will be getting another 1-3 feet of snow and avalanches will be a persistent hazard in the backcountry along with tree well drowning. “Please Know Before You Go” (C.A.I.C.) and always adventure with a buddy and the proper equipment.
Once this storm clears Saturday January 1, 2022 then we can talk about the coldest temperatures of the season, wind chill exposure to skin and inversions keeping the daily high temperatures bone chilling.