National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A major winter storm brought several feet of heavy snow to the eastern Utah and western Colorado mountains during the evening of December 15th through the morning of December 17th. Most locations received one to two inches of liquid equivalent precipitation, with measured liquid precipitation equivalence as high as four inches! Both Highway 550 over Red Mountain Pass and Highway 65 over the Grand Mesa were closed for more than 24 hours due to avalanche danger and mitigation during and after this storm. Many accidents along I-70 occurred due to winter weather, and many passes in western Colorado were closed for shorter duration during this storm due to either vehicle accidents or avalanche mitigation. This storm brought snowpack up significantly in water basins across eastern Utah and western Colorado.

Storm Total Snowfall 

Image Image Image Image
Digging out from 33" of snow on December 17, 2016.
Photo courtesy Grand Mesa Lodge.
9" fell at Spring Valley, near Glenwood Springs.
Photo courtesy Rick Walter
Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) percentage
of normal in Utah as of 12/18/2016
Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) percentage of normal for Colorado as of 12/18/2016
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