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Winter Storm Warnings in effect for southern Colorado starting Wednesday

Posted at 11:25 AM, Dec 25, 2018

It’s been quite a while, but Winter Storm Warnings are back on the map across southern Colorado. The Warnings, in pink, are in effect from 1 pm Wednesday through 11 am Thursday.

Where will the heaviest snow occur?

Heaviest Snow Expectations
Heaviest snow expectations Wednesday night into Thursday morning

 

The plains are going to see the heaviest snow out of this winter storm. Areas east and south of Pueblo county and north and west of Baca county will likely lie under the heaviest snow bands.

The Wet and Sangre De Cristo mountains will also be areas where moderate to heavy snow falls, especially as you climb in elevation.

How will this affect Colorado Springs and Pueblo?
Luckily, this will not be much of a storm for either Colorado Springs or Pueblo. Of the two, Pueblo has the much better chance of seeing snowfall, despite Colorado Springs having the higher elevation, because it’s closer tot he low pressure center over Baca county.

Snow totals in the Springs will likely stay under an inch for many places while Pueblo could easily see 1 to 2 inches, and likely even more than that in the southeast part of the county. Blowing snow will likey make Monument Hill tough to drive on Wednesday night, but with snow likely staying under 2 inches, the plows should be able keep the road manageable.

Who is getting freezing rain and ice?
The plains
are going to be most susceptible for freezing rain and ice Wednesday evening before everything turns to snow. More specifically, all areas east of Pueblo county who see rain during the afternoon.

Kiowa, Bent, Prowers, Baca and the eastern halves of Crowley and Otero counties are all areas that could see up to a tenth of an inch of ice form on the roadways Wednesday evening, with snow then falling on top of the ice.

How much snow is coming?
The map above does a pretty good job of showing the areas where the heaviest snow will fall, but here’s a our thinking for a few bigger locations.

Colorado Springs – 1 inch or less
Monument Hill & Woodland Park – 2 inches or less
Pueblo – 2 inches (more as you go southeast, less as you go northwest in the county)
Canon City – 1 inch or less
La Junta – 3 to 7 inches
Lamar – 2 to 5 inches
Trinidad – 2 to 5 inches (likely more snow to the northeast)
Rye – 3 to 6 inches
La Veta –  3 to 6 inches

Quick summary:
A winter storm is coming to southern Colorado Wednesday through Thursday morning. Freezing rain followed by heavy snow will fall across the plains Wednesday night through Thurseday morning. Light snow is coming to the Pikes Peak region, but that this time, we feel that less than an inch or two will fall for most of the area. Travel will still be slick and slow Wednesday night from light blowing snow and low visibility.

Travel on the major highways in the plains, such as 50 and 160, is not advised unless absolutely necessary anytime after 6 pm, but especially after 10 pm.