Strong snowstorm moves into Vail area

OpenSnow, National Weather Service calling for high winds, significant snow accumulation

Mid-April may feel like mid-winter with cooler temperatures on the way this week in conjunction with a storm system that is blowing through western Colorado.

“Snow will begin around sunrise on Tuesday morning and will be intense from Tuesday morning into midday,” said Joel Gratz, founding meteorologist of OpenSnow.

In a video with “Vail Valley Live,” Gratz said that he believes the snow will be more wet and sticky in the morning and dry out by Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning from Monday evening through 12 p.m. Wednesday with snow accumulations of six to 15 inches in the forecast.

Open Snow has been following this storm for about a week and predicts that most mountains should see solid snow totals and at least one legitimate powder day. photo

Strong winds will be an issue with wind speeds predicted to gust up to 60 mph. Windy conditions have caused Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek to close lifts recently.

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Cooler temperatures are in the forecast as well, dropping in to the 20s for Wednesday and into the teens Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Motorists are urged to take caution if traveling the next few days. NWS is predicting that “travel could be very difficult due to near blizzard conditions in blowing and drifting snow, especially on ridge tops and mountain passes. Icy and snow-packed roads are likely. Strong winds could cause tree damage.”

Vail and Beaver Creek have started ramping down operations this time of year, closing areas like Blue Sky Basin, China Bowl and Tea Cup Bowl at Vail and Arrowhead at Beaver Creek this past weekend. Beaver Creek closes for the season on Sunday, April 17, and Vail has extended its season until May 1.

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