Blizzard forecast for tonight |

Blizzard forecast for tonight

Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY ” National Weather Service forecasts said a potent storm will barrel out of Utah and into the Colorado Rockies tonight and Tuesday morning. More than a foot of snow is expected in many areas.

With high winds also predicted, the weather service is warning of blizzard conditions that will make travel difficult to near-impossible on some state highways through Tuesday morning.

The storm could drop up to 18 inches of snow in the local mountains, said Spencer Logan, a forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Logan said the first wave of snowfall would taper off this afternoon, with the main blast coming after midnight and into early Tuesday morning.

“It should make for some good skiing and some pretty interesting avalanche problems,” Logan said.

The expected snowfall is a gift for local ski resorts, now gearing up to open more and more terrain as the busy Thanksgiving holiday approaches, and cold nighttime temps have been good for snowmaking.

Both the Denver and Grand Junction National Weather Service offices issued a winter storm warning valid from 6 p.m. today to 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Denver office is calling for 10 to 20 inches of snow in the mountains north of Rabbit Ears Pass and Rocky Mountain National Park to the Wyoming border.

The Grand Junction forecast is for between eight and 20 inches of snow, with the highest totals in the west-central mountains around Aspen, as well as higher north and northwest-facing slopes.

The weather service is warning against unnecessary travel in the winter storm warning area, basically covering all the High Country on the West Slope. Travelers are advised to be prepared with adequate snow tires or chains and to take a winter survival kit ” extra warm clothes, food and water, a candle, matches.

Travelers stranded in rural areas should stay with their vehicles until help arrives, running the engine 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the gas tank full and maintain adequate antifreeze levels.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado CO

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