National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Overview

The progression and eventual merging of two weather disturbances across eastern Utah and western Colorado combined with a strong polar and sub-tropical jet to produce moderate to heavy snowfall across most Colorado mountains and some higher valley locations. Snowfall began over the higher terrain on the evening of Wednesday, February 14th before increasing in coverage and continuing through the night of Thursday, February 15th. The heaviest snowfall fell Thursday morning and early Thursday afternoon. The support of the two upper level jets overhead enhanced snowfall rates and allowed gusty winds to mix down to the surface which resulted in periods of reduced visibility in blowing snow. This made travel difficult during both the morning and evening commutes across the high passes of Colorado.

The northern Colorado mountains received the most snowfall with this event with storm total snowfall amounts ranging from 12 to 24 inches in the Elkhead and Park Mountains. The central Colorado mountains generally received 5 to 15 inches with some locally higher amounts while the southern mountains of Colorado and Utah reported 4 to 10 inches. Some of the higher valleys, such as the Central Yampa and San Juan River Basins averaged 3 to 6 inches with locally higher amounts up to 10 inches.

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Storm Total Snowfall from February 14-15, 2018
Vail Pass on February 15 (CDOT) West Aspen on February 15 (Christian Dusol) Highway 82 in the Upper Roaring Fork (Christian Dusol)
Vail Pass on Feb 15 (Credit: CDOT) West Aspen (Credit: Christian Dusold) HWY 82 in Upper Roaring Fork (Credit: Christian Dusold)
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