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April 15, 2013
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Grand County under Winter Weather Advisory; could see 7-12 inches of snow

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory at 7 a.m. on Monday that includes Grand County as another heavy snow storm continues to move through the state. The Winter Weather Advisory will remain in effect through Tuesday morning.

The snow is expected to continue throughout the day and into the night with snow accumulations expected to be between 6 and 11 inches by Tuesday morning, with Grand County expecting closer to 7-12 inches by the end of the storm.

The storm is expected to stop dropping large accumulations of snow late Thursday, according to Kyle Fredin, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service station for Denver and Boulder.

The snow accumulations from this storm may help to ease the tension of the drought in Colorado. "It's going to help," Fredin said. "We are still well below our normal snowpack. Hopefully we can keep this going into late April."

Colorado Department of Transportation crews will begin full snow shifts at midnight on Sunday and will be working through the storm. There will be up to 60 plows working in the northern mountains, 30 along the I-70 mountain corridor, as well as up to 120 plows on the front range and eastern plains.

Weather is expected to begin clearing up by the weekend with only a slight chance of snow for Saturday and Sunday, which may be welcome for the closing weekend of Winter Park Resort.

The resort reported receiving 10 inches on Sunday and 4 inches over Sunday night. There is normally a time during the spring when the resort begins to close certain terrain due to decreasing snowpack, but thanks to the added snow, the resort should be 100 percent open for their closing weekend, according to Steven Hurlbert, public relations and communication manager for Winter Park Resort.

"We haven't gotten a huge dump all year until now," Hurlbert said. The Panoramic Express was closed on Sunday, April 14, and remains closed as of 10 a.m. Monday morning, meaning there is at least 14 inches of untouched powder at the top of the mountain.

The resort is celebrating its closing with Springtopia this weekend, with live music and the traditional Spring Splash. More information can be found at the resort's website, winterparkresort.com.

Since Saturday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has increased the avalanche danger considerably due to windy conditions and the new snow accumulations. Fresh storm and wind slabs are the primary avalanche problems, according to the Center's website. Any new snow load could also stress lingering deep slab instabilities. Look for signs of instability such as recent slide activity and cracks that propagate.

The avalanche danger for the Front Range zone is considerable (Level 3) on all aspects near and above treeline. Below treeline, the danger moderate (Level 2).


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Apr 15, 2013 12:18PM Published Apr 15, 2013 12:16PM Copyright 2013 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.