As travelers prepare to hit the road to visit friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday, a major winter storm set to strike the Western Slope may cause problems. Some areas will be measuring snow in terms of feet rather than the usual inches.
A strong Pacific trough of low pressure will begin encroaching on western Colorado today followed by a cold front on Sunday. These factors will combine to bring heavy snow to much of the western third of the state where Winter Storm Warnings have been posted.
- Get a complete look at the storm including current weather warnings in the slideshow to the left.
The long-lasting storm will bring periods of heavy snow lasting from today through Wednesday. The San Juans will bear the brunt through tomorrow followed by the Sawatch and Elk mountain ranges from Monday through Wednesday. Areas farther north along the Rockies will also feel the effects.
Monarch and Wolf Creek passes will likely see snow surpassing one foot and some areas could record up to three feet. Overall 1 to 2 feet is possible in the western mountains with 3 to 4 feet possible on south-facing slopes. Aspen should see some decent accumulations from the storm with total accumulations from the storm ranging from 10 to 20 inches.
In the high country closer to the Denver area, the impacts of the storm will also be felt. Vail is forecast to receive 3 to 5 inches today and totals of 14 to 24 inches through Tuesday. Moving farther east the effects decrease significantly as Keystone and Loveland are looking at 3 to 7 inches total accumulations.
Denver itself is expected to remain relatively dry although temperatures are expected to cool considerably on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day. High temperatures for those two days may not even reach the freezing mark. At the current time it does appear we will remain dry so flying into and out of Denver International Airport (DIA) should not be a problem.
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