Independence Pass under winter storm warning |

Independence Pass under winter storm warning

A winter storm warning has been issued for areas including Independence Pass and Vail Pass lasting into Monday night, the National Weather Service announced.

The warning is for the Elk and Gore mountains above 9,000 feet as well as “central mountain valleys” in Colorado.

Snow is expected to drop to 8,000 feet elevation by Monday morning, the weather service said in an update midday Sunday. The weather service also downgraded the snow amounts to 4 to 6 inches and expects the intensity to “increase in coverage and intensity [Sunday] afternoon and continue through Monday evening.”

Along with the snow, winds are expected from the southwest blowing 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. The NWS warns visibility could drop to less than a mile at times of heavy snow.

Other watches and warnings have been issued for the Colorado mountains for Sunday and Monday.

The heavy snow will make many roads impassable and may produce widespread power outages due to the weight of the snow on tree limbs and power lines, the NWS warned Sunday afternoon. Strong winds will lead to blowing snow, reduced visibility and additional power outages.

Roads may become slushy, icy and snow-packed during the warning, and hazardous winter driving conditions are expected over the high-mountain passes.

A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow are expected or occurring, according to the NWS, and strong winds and blowing snow are also possible.

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