Big snow, and more on the way

Monday’s storm dropped nearly a foot of snow in and around Pagosa Springs, and after successfully clearing roads and digging out, most agencies are back to business as usual, although forecasters say more is on the way.

By Wednesday, Archuleta County government offices had reopened, and students were back in their classrooms at schools in the Archuleta School District 50 Joint system. In addition U.S. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass and Colo. 17 over Cumbres-La Manga passes were open, albeit with certain restrictions. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, chains are required for all commercial vehicles, buses and vans carrying 16 passengers or more on both passes.

As much as an additional foot of snow fell on Wolf Creek Ski Area in the last 24 hours.

While citizens and snow removal crews may be just finished tidying up after the last dump, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued another hazardous weather outlook for eastern Utah and western Colorado.

NOAA forecasters say there is a 90-percent chance of snow today with accumulations estimated at four inches. Nighttime lows could broach the single digits.

Friday could bring more snow with a 20-percent chance of precipitation and nighttime lows dipping below 10 degrees.

According to NOAA, the pattern continues Saturday with nighttime lows dropping to just five degrees and a 40 percent chance of snow.

Sunday shows partly sunny skies.

During the next three days, motorists should exercise caution while traveling area roads, with most mountain roads in the region remaining snowpacked and icy with periods of low visibility. Depending on snow accumulations, roadways may become occasionally impassable.

Forecasters say the snow will continue to dump on southwestern Colorado with periods of localized heavy snow as several Pacific storms roll through the region.

For current Colorado road information visit www.cotrip.org, or call 1-877-315-7623.

For those venturing into New Mexico, current road conditions can be found at www.nmroads.com, or by calling 1-800-423-4269.

For the most recent winter storm warning information, go to http://weather.gov/gjt.