Storm brings 3 to 12 inches of snow to Northwest Colorado; more expected Thursday and Friday | CraigDailyPress.com

Storm brings 3 to 12 inches of snow to Northwest Colorado; more expected Thursday and Friday

Sunset Elementary School first-grader Prince Green pauses on his walk home from school to make the most of large piles of snow left from storm systems that moved through Northwest Colorado Sunday and Monday.

CRAIG — Snowstorms that swept through Northwest Colorado on Sunday and Monday resulted in accumulations of three to 12 inches, and the National Weather Service in Grand Junction is forecasting cold conditions with a chance of snow returning to the area Thursday.

The latest snowfall map shows Moffat County received more snow than both Routt and Rio Blanco counties, with the highest accumulations — 12 inches — reported in the Black Mountain Area.

"There were five to eight inches of accumulation reported in the Craig," said Meteorologist Julie Malingowski. "Three to five inches were reported in the Steamboat area, and upwards of six to eight inches at higher elevations east of Steamboat Springs."

As the storm intensified Monday, many were enjoying a long weekend to mark President's Day, but fortunately, automobile crashes were minimal.

"In the entire troop area, there were only 11 crashes yesterday; only one was an injury crash in Routt County. I don't think there was an accident in Moffat County," said Captain Doug Conrad, of Colorado State Patrol. "I think what helped us out was that it was a holiday yesterday (Monday)."

By mid-morning Tuesday, many of the main roads and highways in the area were beginning to clear.

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Malingowski reminded drivers to be prepared for winter driving conditions and to slow down, as the cold, unsettled weather pattern will continue through the next several days, with two different disturbances moving into the region.

And Conrad suggested that drivers check windshield wipers and tires, have plenty of fuel and make sure to have emergency necessities in vehicles.

"Don't forget to dress appropriately and have gear, in case of an emergency,' he said.

A weak Pacific storm system will push into the area Wednesday evening and into Thursday, which will bring scattered to numerous snow showers to the mountains, but the storm is not expected to bring much snow to Craig and Moffat County.

"There could be some snow showers from Craig eastward, though accumulations are expected to be less than two inches in the valleys," Malingowski said.

Then, on Friday, a stronger weather system is expected to drop down from the Pacific Northwest and track eastward from the Great Basin into Colorado.

"It looks like it will be a quick shot at snowfall. It should be a more widespread system, with about two to four inches of snow expected in the valleys and about six inches in the mountains," Malingowski said.

After the weekend, the pattern of weather disturbances every few days looks to continue for the foreseeable future.

"There's a good chance of moisture every few days. Maybe it will help get that snowpack back up to normal," Malingowski said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.