The calm before the storm

By: Rob Hughes Email
By: Rob Hughes Email

In Grand Junction, Wednesday will be sunny, with a high near 27. East southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy, with a low around 10. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

In Montrose, Wednesday will be sunny, with a high near 31. South southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the morning. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy, with a low around 11. South southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

A powerful winter storm is expected to move across Utah into western Colorado Thursday night and Friday. This major winter storm could bring significant snowfall to the mountain and valleys throughout eastern Utah and western Colorado. The brunt of this storm hits the region on Friday, but will last into Friday night. The storm intensity will diminish on Saturday, but a chance of snow showers will linger.

This is a dangerous and potentially life threatening winter storm if caught unprepared. Factors that make this winter storm particularly dangerous. Significant snow accumulations, moderate to heavy snowfall is expected on Friday as the winter storms hits the region. The potential exists for 1 to 2 feet of fine powdery snow across the high country. Snow is expected to be widespread and will impact travel with accumulating snow in the valleys...this includes the interstate 70 corridor from eastern Utah to Vail pass.

Considerable blowing and drifting snow, the fine powdery snow will be easy to blow and drift around. Combined with strong winds on Thursday night and Friday morning, with some gusts to 60 mph over the mountain passes of southwest Colorado and the Grand Mesa. Whiteout conditions will be possible. Gusty winds will persist into Friday afternoon and night that will form deep snow drifts.

Plunging temperatures, relatively mild conditions may exist before the brunt of the winter storm hits. Temperatures will plunge as the snow increases. Mountain readings in the 20s will drop to the single digits by nightfall. Subzero temperatures will be common by Saturday morning. Hypothermia and frostbite can occur quickly if caught outdoors cold and wet. Other risks include car accidents and carbon monoxide poisoning.

If planning travel or outdoor activities across eastern Utah and western Colorado later this week. Be prepared for severe winter weather conditions. Given the unique combination of plunging cold temperatures, gusty winds and potentially heavy snowfall. Expect adverse winter weather conditions. Remember, this next storm may evolve into a dangerous winter storm.

This hazardous weather outlook is for eastern Utah and western Colorado.

Wednesday through Friday:

A powerful winter storm will be arriving on Thursday night and continue into Friday. Snow will be widespread with significant accumulations expected. At this time, the heaviest snow amounts is expected over the northern and central mountains of western Colorado with upwards to 2 feet of snow above 9000 feet. The snow is expected to taper off on Saturday, but snow showers will persist in the high country.

Saturday through Monday:

Temperatures will become very cold once again. Subzero temperatures at night will be common, with the coldest of mountain valleys approaching 20 below zero and possibly colder. High temperatures will be well below normal.


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