DENVER (CBS4) – The first Avalanche Warning of the season for much of the I-70 mountain corridor has been issued through Tuesday at 8 a.m. It’s for all mountain areas west of Vail Pass – it does not include Summit County. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is strongly discouraging backcountry travel and skiing through Monday night.
Strong wind is causing a lot of drifting snow. That drifting will likely overload the weak snowpack causing a good chance for natural and triggered avalanches.
Wind gusts in these areas will reach at least 40 mph while new snow will total 4-8 inches for ski areas like Crested Butte, Aspen, Snowmass, Vail, Beaver Creek and Steamboat. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through Monday night at midnight.
Farther east there is no advisory (or Avalanche Warning!) for Summit County or the Winter Park area but there will definitely be snow and wind in these areas.
Meanwhile all the snow will stay west of the Denver metro area but the wind will not. Gusts could reach 85 mph in the foothills on Monday while northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley could experience gusts up to 65 mph. The rest of the Front Range will experience gusts up to 55 mph.