DENVER (CBS4) – Vacationers will struggle to cross the mountains of Colorado on Sunday as a new winter storm rolls through the state. In addition to heavy snow, this storm will bring a lot of wind. The combination of wind and snow can sometimes create whiteout conditions, especially on the higher and exposed mountain passes.
Snow squall warnings will be possible in the mountains, especially during the afternoon hours. A snow squall warning means there is an imminent threat to cross the warning zone. It is similar in concept to a severe thunderstorm warning.
CBS4 viewer Audra Streetman shared videos of a snow squall moving through Steamboat Springs on Sunday afternoon.
The most intense wind and snow will be in the afternoon and early evening on Sunday. While the intensity will decrease overnight, some areas may still experience blowing snow and snow drift well into the early hours of Monday. After a brief break late Monday morning, more snow will arrive in the evening and last through Tuesday.
Most of Colorado’s mountains have a winter storm warning (pink) or a winter weather advisory (purple). Many places will eventually see between 6 and 14 inches of snow. The quantities will be lighter in the valleys but the movements could be just as dangerous because of the wind.
New snow will create additional avalanche hazard, especially in the backcountry. Most mountain areas are under avalanche warning until Monday morning.
For Denver, the Front Range Foothills and the Eastern Plains, Sunday will be dry but very windy at times. In fact, parts of central and eastern Colorado are under a high wind warning for the potential to see wind gusts between 60 and 80 mph.
Although we have no precipitation in the forecast for Denver and the Front Range, at times in scenarios like the one we have today, a few flurries may cross the foothills and enter the I-25 urban corridor. If that were to happen, it would probably be after 3 p.m. and before midnight.
Because it has been so dry and hot, the wind will make fire danger high for much of east-central and southeastern Colorado. These areas will be subject to a red flag warning between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday.