NEW: Winter storm warning issued for Elk, Gore mountains; heavy snow expected | PostIndependent.com

NEW: Winter storm warning issued for Elk, Gore mountains; heavy snow expected

Winter is coming back to the mountains with estimates of up to 14 inches of snow coming in the Elk and Gore mountains above 9,000 feet as well as into the central mountain valleys, according to a warning issued Thursday afternoon.

Heavy snow is expected to start after midnight Friday and last through the day and into Saturday morning. The National Weather Service office in Grand Junction says to “plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the evening commute on Friday, over mountain passes, especially over Vail Pass and Battle Mountain Summit. Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times.”

The warning calls for up to 18 inches in some areas.

According to the weather outlook for Aspen and areas in the Roaring Fork Valley: “Rain and snow will develop early Friday morning. Snow levels will lower through the day as colder air moves in from the west. Significant snow accumulations are possible above 9,000 feet in much of the Colorado mountain ranges along the Continental Divide. Showers will affect much of the rest of western Colorado and eastern Utah on Friday before dry weather moves in for the weekend and into next week.”