Snow advisory in effect until 6 p.m. today |

Snow advisory in effect until 6 p.m. today

Staff report

— Steamboat Springs and the surrounding areas are under a snow and blowing snow advisory until 6 p.m. this evening.

Between 5 and 10 inches of snow could fall in downtown Steamboat by the time the snow exits the region early tonight, according to the National Weather Service. Today’s snow could be heavy at times. However, the storm system is likely to be strongest south of Interstate 70, and the storm’s southwesterly flow could help minimize local accumulations.

As has been the case with recent storms in the Upper Yampa Valley, high winds could play a factor. The National Weather Service forecasts gusty southwest winds up to 30 mph, resulting in areas of blowing and drifting snow.

The weather service warns that near blizzard conditions could make travel extremely difficult or impossible in Northwest Colorado today, particularly in Moffat County. U.S. Highway 40 west of Maybell will be impacted by the storm, and 6 to 10 inches of snow could fall around Craig. Snowdrifts several feet deep are possible.

The skies over Steamboat should clear tonight, with an overnight low of 6 degrees. Meteorologists predict partly to mostly sunny conditions through President’s Day weekend, with daytime highs in the low 30s.

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the avalanche danger for the Steamboat zone is “considerable” today. The Web site advises backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers to be wary of recent wind drifts and to be alert to cracking in the new snow layers.

U.S. Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass remained open late this morning, with slushy, icy and snowpacked areas reported. Colorado Highway 14 at Cameron Pass (east of Walden) remains closed today because of avalanche potential. Check for updated road closure information.

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