Impending storm could bring deep snow to high country


Courtesy CDOT
Special to The SUN

As winter weather returns to the state, Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews are again readying equipment and schedules for round-the-clock storm patrol shifts.

Forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center are predicting up to a foot and a half of snowfall (in some areas a bit less) by Tuesday night and as much as 36 inches total by Wednesday night on the following passes: U.S. 50 Monarch Pass, U.S. 160 Wolf Creek Pass, U.S. 550 passes (Red Mountain, Molas, Coal Bank), Colo. 145 Lizard Head Pass and Colo. 17 Cumbres/La Manga passes.

This storm also threatens to bring bitterly cold temperatures behind the front.

In the San Luis Valley, motorists should anticipate between 5 and 10 inches of snowfall by late Wednesday.

“Strong winds will cause serious blowing and drifting snow and difficult driving conditions through the valley,” said Mark Mueller, CAIC forecaster.

During the storm, at least half of CDOT’s crew members will be out at one time, working 24/7 until the storm subsides and roadways and shoulders are cleared.