Craig The full impact of a storm system moving into Northwest Colorado wasn't visible by Thursday afternoon, but officials at the National Weather Service say that could change.
The agency issued a winter snow advisory, starting at noon Thursday and remaining in effect until 6 p.m. today.
"Right now, we are expecting an accumulation of 3 to 6 inches, which are advisory amounts," said Mike Chamberlain, a forecaster with the Weather Service.
The storm is expected to affect the entire portion of western Colorado and eastern Utah, but north of I-70 is likely to be the most affected.
Even if heavy snowfall occurs, it's not as much as it could have been.
"Several days ago, the system looked a little stronger," Chamberlain said. "What it is doing is it is kind of splitting apart, and that is a pattern we've seen this winter. As things move into the Great Basin and toward us, they kind of split, with some of the energy going north and some of the energy going south.
"It still looks like we're going to be affected, and there is a fair amount of moisture out there. That is why we have the snow advisory."
The tail end of the system is expected to leave a light snow Saturday morning and dry out by Saturday evening before another system moves in.
"Sunday, there is a very weak system, but right now, it doesn't look (like) it has very much energy," Chamberlain said. "It looks more like light snow and flurries."
There also could be snowfall on Christmas.
"Right now, it shows a weather system that deepens over Utah on Monday night, which is Christmas Eve, and it looks like it will track into New Mexico on Tuesday, Christmas Day," Chamberlain said. "With that southernly track, it's not going to be a huge snow producer for us. Realize that there is still quite a bit of uncertainty as far as the strength and track of the system."
With snow expected, county and city officials have a couple of reminders to help crews removing snow from the streets.
"If people move their vehicles off the streets : it would help us a lot," said Randy Call, city Road & Bridge & Refuse director, adding that, for the most part, residents are doing a good job. He added it would help if people would not push snow into the street when clearing out their driveways, as it more than likely will end up in their neighbors' way.
Bill Mack, director of the county Road and Bridge Department, echoed the same sentiments.
"People (are) plowing across the county road, and we don't like them to do that because it leaves ridges across the county road," he said. "It is actually a hazard and a liability for them if they just push the snow out and wait for us to come by. A lot of times, we've already come by.
"So, it makes hazards."
As far as the upcoming storm, Mack said his crew would handle it like all others.
"It's a regular snow storm," he said. "We'll remove it as we do. The roads that we plow first are the school bus routes, the main arteries, and we go down from there."
Jerry Raehal can be reached 824-7031, ext. 204, or firstname.lastname@example.org