Scattered snowstorms to hit Glenwood Springs
City reminds residents not to dump snow, ice on public property
An incoming winter storm could dust Glenwood Springs with up to 3 inches of snow Wednesday and potentially dump about 5 inches of snow on Sunlight Mountain Resort.
“It’s a really powerful system passing through Gray Basin and Four Corners with a lot of wind energy,” said Mark Miller, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “But it’s not going to be a terrible amount of snow for the Valley.”
Wind gusts could reach 35 mph during the storm, which is forecast mostly for Tuesday night, but Miller said Glenwood Springs was more likely to see 1 inch of snowfall than 3 inches.
For winter enthusiasts itching to hit the slopes on opening day, however, Sunlight Mountain Resort is set to have a fresh layer of powder. According to OpenSnow.com, the resort could see up to 5 inches of snowfall Wednesday, and another 2 inches Friday.
A second system could potentially bring the city more snow Thursday or Friday, but the amounts would likely be less than an inch.
“We’re looking at a pretty weak system following through,” Miller said. “It’s more of a northern clipper and doesn’t contain a lot of moisture.”
While NWS did not have up-to-date precipitation data for December, Glenwood Springs receives an average of about an inch of precipitation and about 10 inches of snow during the month of December, the NWS reported.
Temperatures could reach as high as the 30s in the next few days, and the lows could drop to about 5 degrees.
December’s average high temperature for Glenwood Springs is 37 degrees and the average low is about 14 degrees, Miller said.
“A low of 5 degrees is well below average for December,” he said. “There’s a deep area of low pressure digging deep into the western United States, and an area of high pressure building east of us. Being in between those two is making for a strong, big storm.”
Glenwood Springs experienced a record high December temperature of 70 degrees in 2016, and the record low of minus 20 degrees was set in 1990, Miller said.
Snow might be sporadic throughout the holiday season, but Miller said the drier days of November are likely now firmly in the rearview. Although it’s too early to say for sure, he said Glenwood Springs has about a 50/50 chance for a white Christmas this year.
New snow removal rules
On the city side, Special Work Assignment Team (SWAT, but not that SWAT) Superintendent Jake Velasquez said his crews were fully staffed and ready for winter.
The city uses a sodium chloride blend as a bulk de-icer and pre-treats the roads with a magnesium chloride-water mix, similar to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s treatment, Public Works director Matt Langhorst said in an email.
“When we were selecting these materials, the environmental impact was a main point of concern,” Langhorst said. “For us, it was especially important to understand the effects it may have to the local fisheries.”
Glenwood Springs budgeted $30,000 for de-icing treatments in 2022. While supply issues have hampered some industries throughout the valley, Velasquez said the treatments are made in Denver and Utah, so the city has not experienced any pandemic-related ice treatment supply issues at this point.
“We plan for an increase of cost every year,” Velasquez wrote in an email. “(The city) took into account an increase in trucking costs for that material to be delivered for the upcoming snow season.”
For residents, some recent changes to the city’s snow removal ordinances could impact snow shoveling in the coming days.
In October, City Council passed an ordinance, updating municipal code to prohibit residents from depositing the snow and ice removed from private property onto public sidewalks, streets and other public properties.
Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck said in an email that the regulation is intended to keep the vehicular and pedestrian areas clear of ice and the build up of snow.
The municipal code also requires adjacent property owners to shovel public sidewalks within 24-hours of snowfall, Starbuck said.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at email@example.com.
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Leo Spielberger’s family lost everything in the Marshall Fire in late December.