Colorado: Avalanche warning expanded to S. San Juans

The avalanche danger is rated as considerable to high across all of Colorado's backcountry mountains.

Vail Pass to close Monday morning for avalanche control work

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Sunday’s storm brought widespread snowfall to the Colorado mountains, with the deepest accumulations in the San Juans, where Silverton Mountain and Wolf Creek both reported 14 inches of  new snow Monday morning.

Vail Pass will close at 9:30 a.m. for avalanche control work, and other high mountain passes will likely remain snowpacked, icy and slushy for much of the day, with reduced visibility in areas of blowing snow. Get the latest info at www.cotrip.org.

More snowfall totals include 8 inches at Monarch, Crested Butte and Telluride, with genealyy 2 to 5 inches across the northern mountains.

As a result of the widespread snow in the southwestern mountains, the avalanche warning has been expanded to include the south San Juan zone, and extended through Tuesday. Dangerous avalanche conditions will prevail in the region, with triggered and natural slides likely in many areas, on all aspects and elevations, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Light snowfall will continue Monday in most mountain areas, with some moderate snowfall rates possible in areas favored by a westerly flow. The next incoming weather system will start to affect Colorado late Monday night as a low pressure system digs south toward the Four Corners area. The system will initially favor the San Juans once again. The exact position of the low pressure center will determine how much snow will fall in the central and northern mountains.

As far as the “major pattern change” touted by resort boosters, well, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Instead, the persistent split flow pattern will re-emerge, taking most storm energy to the north and south later this week, so let’s hope for a good blast of snow from Tuesday’s event!

Sorry ’bout that, folks, just trying to keep it real. Here’s the word from the National Weather Service:

"LONG TERM...UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL BE MOVING OVER THE DESERT
SOUTHWEST AND THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. MODELS
COMING INTO AGREEMENT THAT THIS SYSTEM WILL TAKE A MORE SOUTHERN
ROUTE THAN MOST MODELS HAD BEEN FORECASTING ...
STORM TRACK SPLITS LATE IN THE WEEK. A CLOSED LOW WILL DIVE SOUTH
ACROSS THE WESTERN U.S. AND INTO MEXICO WHILE THE MAIN STORM
TRACK WILL BE OVER THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND NORTHERN PLAINS. THIS
WILL LEAVE COLORADO UNDER A WEAK NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT. OTHER A
CHANCE FOR LIGHT SNOW OVER MOUNTAINS WITH THE DIVING CLOSED LOW
THURSDAY...THE FORECAST WILL REMAIN DRY THROUGH SATURDAY."


 

 

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