Wind closes Vail Mountain early, winter weather advisory underway

45-65 MPH gusts expected to last until Wednesday morning

Children ride sleds on Vail Mountain following an early closure of the ski resort on Tuesday. The gondola cars were removed from the lift cables as high wind gusts blew through the area.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Vail Mountain wasn’t able to open many of its lifts on Tuesday, and the ones that did get running closed early as wind blasted the mountain.

“At approximately 2 p.m. Vail Mountain closed all lifts and gondolas due to persistent high winds,” said spokesperson John Plack.

In Vail Village, intense periods of 45-65 mile-per-hour gusts perforated periods of no wind at all, and some guests enjoyed sledding while others took cover.

The National Weather Service said at elevations of above 10,000 feet, gusts were reaching 80 miles per hour.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the Vail area by the National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office.

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The National Weather Service said our area could expect “Total snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with locally higher amounts possible.”

The Gore Range is expected to receive a combination of snow and strong winds, along with the Elk Mountain Range, according to the advisory.

On Interstate 70 in Vail, intermittent dust storms were making visibility difficult at times on Tuesday afternoon. Low visibility is expected to continue in the form of blowing snow, and motorists are being encouraged to avoid travel if possible.

“Travel will be difficult at times due to blowing and drifting snow,” according to the National Weather Service’s Winter Weather Advisory issued for the Vail area. “Near whiteout conditions are possible at times, especially over the passes and exposed areas.”

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