Ski resorts in Rockies to enjoy fresh early week snow but motorists beware
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 21, 2019, 10:27:04 PM EST
A quick-hitting shot of snow to start the new week across the Rockies will be enough to cause travel issues but a fresh base for the ski resorts.
The same storm that brought wintry travel to I-80’s Donner Summit on Sunday will traverse the Rockies into Monday night and early Tuesday.
Enough snow to create slow and slippery travel is anticipated to fall along stretches of interstates 15, 25, 70, 80 and 90.
Strengthening winds can make travel even more difficult by whipping the falling snow around and dramatically reducing visibility.
The steadiest snow is expected diminish around Salt Lake City, but ramp up around Rapid City, South Dakota, during Monday night.
The snow will continue to advance across the central Rockies. Snow will fall on Cheyenne, Wyoming, along with Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado for a time during Monday night to early Tuesday.
The mountains and ski resorts can anticipate a fresh 6-12 inches with locally higher amounts. In the lower elevations, a few inches may whiten Rapid City, Cheyenne and Salt Lake City.
"Heavier snow is expected on the benches east of Salt Lake City with amounts ranging from 3-6 inches," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist John Feerick. Similar totals are anticipated in Casper.
The snowfall will wane as it drops southward along I-25 in Colorado. A total of 1-3 inches may whiten Denver, while snow can be held to a slippery coating to an inch around Colorado Springs.
Download the free AccuWeather app to find out if snow and how much is expected in your community.
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In the lower elevations, warmth preceding the storm can cause the snow to initially fall as rain or melt on roads and sidewalks.
Motorists and pedestrians should not let their guard down. As temperatures plunge and the snow persists, roads can turn from wet to slushy and slippery.
Snow enthusiasts will have to use caution when heading to the ski resorts. Travel conditions may become too treacherous in the mountains that officials may close roads for a time.
An avalanche near Aspen, Colorado, claimed the life of one person on Monday, according to Pitkin County Sheriff.
For those with an extra day off after the holiday weekend, Tuesday will be a better day to enjoy the fresh powder as the snow shifts eastward over the nation’s midsection. Just be sure to bundle up as cold air settles back across the Rockies.
There can be lingering travel issues across the central High Plains on Tuesday. Airline passengers may encounter delays in Denver due to deicing operations and gusty winds.
Crosswinds may endanger high-profile vehicles on interstates 70, 76 and 80.
On the heels of this storm, another round of snow may spread over the northern Rockies at midweek. Some snow can drop into the central Rockies into Thursday, especially over the mountains.
That storm will be followed by a turn to dry and calmer weather for next weekend. Skiers will welcome temperatures rebounding back to seasonable levels.
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