The incoming winter storms have prompted advisories and warnings for the Western Slope.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in place from 11 am Thursday December 23, until 11 am Saturday December 25. This is for the Grand Mesa and the Uncompahgre Plateau. Expecting snow totals up to the 16″ mark with gusty winds around 40 mph. There is a Winter Storm Warning in place 11 am Thursday December 23 until 11 am Saturday December 25, 2021. This is for the San Juans, the central and northern mountain zones to include the Flat Tops. Snow totals could range between 18-30″ and there will be 50 plus mph wind gusts. These will N-O-T be the last winter warnings and advisories for 2021!
There is a small travel window Thursday morning for anyone just starting their holiday journey. Thursday afternoon and Thursday night and subsequently Friday and Saturday, any mountain pass will likely have difficult winter implications. Blowing snow, icy, snow and snow packed routes hampered by traffic and or accidents, delays and closures are all to be expected. Big mountain snow will be falling through Saturday and ski/snowboard traffic will also add to the travel volume.
The lower elevations will be too mild for snow during the midday and afternoon hours, but if the rain is falling during the early morning you can expect a snow mix. By Saturday December 25, 2021 there is a reasonable chance of seeing snow flurries in the morning hours. This represents storm number one, through Saturday morning. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings will expire at 11 am Saturday December 25. There may be a brief lag between storms late Saturday, more winter weather is expected Sunday, Tuesday and just before New Year’s Eve.