A Good Storm

February 2, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Winter is back on – motorists encouraged to check conditions, prepare vehicles before each trip.

SOUTHWEST/SOUTH-CENTRAL COLORADO –  “Goose feathers!” That is how Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecaster describes the very light snow that was falling this morning in Silverton, at the base of US 550’s Red Mountain Pass. “We could see an uptick in snow this afternoon, decreasing in the evening,” Hale said. “Wednesday brings a break in the weather, then more snow overnight into Thursday.”

A glorious 15 inches had fallen by this morning’s measurements on US 550 Coal Bank Pass; Molas and Red Mountain received quite a bit less with about 4 inches each, but snow continued to fall lightly throughout today. Hale explains that the light snow does settle to about half its depth once temperatures warm a bit, and avalanche mitigation is likely this week. Red Mountain Pass is still open twice a day during rockfall work:  from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

CDOT crews throughout the southwest region (including San Luis Valley) are on storm patrols—operating in round-the-clock shifts until the storm passes and roads and shoulders are cleared.

Through this Wednesday night, the storm is expected to bring up to three more inches of snow on US 550 passes, US 160 Wolf Creek Pass, US 50 Monarch Pass and SH 17 Cumbres/La Manga passes.

“It’s getting after it!” said George Hudran, CDOT maintenance crewman on Wolf Creek Pass. “We are ready for it.”

Plan your trip! Log on to CDOT’s Winter Driving web page at: http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving for tips, road conditions, information on CDOT’s 14-hour snow plow coverage and more; or call 511 for statewide road conditions. Also, sign up for FREE wireless text and/or e-mail updates on road conditions/closures—see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner of our web site home page. Motorists can also log onto the National Weather Service’s site at http://weather.gov/.