Spring storm prompts winter weather warning for Pikes Peak Region

April 13, 2014 Updated: April 13, 2014 at 6:26 pm
photo - A horse grazes in his Rockrimmon area pasture during snow that began falling Sunday afternoon April 13, 2014. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
A horse grazes in his Rockrimmon area pasture during snow that began falling Sunday afternoon April 13, 2014. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

Winter weather is back in the Pikes Peak region, but it will be anyone's guess how much snow will stick to the roads in Colorado Springs.

A winter storm warning for northern and western El Paso County and all of Teller County remained in effect until midnight Sunday, when the snow might decrease slightly, according to the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

"This storm system is still ongoing, we're not close to being done with it," said meteorologist Jennifer Stark. "Precipitation will continue through the evening hours. Sometimes it will be lighter, sometimes heavier, and a heavier band could drop as much as an inch of snow in an hour."

By 5 p.m., the Colorado Springs Airport was reporting a trace of snow accumulating on grassy areas. A northerly wind has been blowing most of the snow away from the airport, where the storm's official snowfall total will be measured, Stark said.

Weather forced the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to postpone Sunday's game. The game is scheduled to be made up as part of a Monday doubleheader. The Denver Post is reporting that Interstate 70 was shutdown near Vail Pass.

For closings and delay, click here for continuous updates through the night.

With a heavy band of snow moving through northern Pueblo County, southern El Paso County could see constant precipitation through the evening, but the total accumulation was impossible to predict, the weather service said.

No snowfall totals were available early into the storm, except for a preliminary report from eastern Fremont County of 3.2 inches, Stark said.

Constant rain and snow should be a welcome sight, Stark said, after a severe drought status in El Paso County was lifted by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

At 32.9 inches for the season, only 1.1 inches of snow would give Colorado Springs its snowiest winter season since 2007-08, Stark said. The record snowfall in one season was set in 2000-01, with 56.7 inches, according to weather service archives.

"We're getting very close to beating out the snow totals in 2007-08," Stark said. "But everyone benefits from this heavy, wet snow. The more moisture, the better."

The storm system was predicted to move through south central and southeast Colorado through Sunday night, spreading moderate to heavy snow across the mountains and a rain-snow mix for the lower elevations, according to the weather service.

Heaviest bands of snow were expected to occur across the southeast mountains, especially during the afternoon and evening hours, with up to 16 inches of snow likely atop Pikes Peak and over Teller County.

Northern El Paso County, including Black Forest and Monument, could get between 5 inches and 10 inches of snow by Monday morning, the weather service predicted.

The winter weather advisory for El Paso County that started at noon Sunday and continued into early Monday prompted the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to postpone Sunday's game, scheduled to be made up as part of a Monday doubleheader.

Temperatures throughout Colorado Springs and El Paso County were forecasted to remain around or slightly above freezing Sunday, then dipping as low as 18 degrees overnight.

Wind gusts could get up to 30 mph, decreasing to 20 mph after midnight, with a 90 percent chance of continued precipitation through Monday morning, according to the weather service.

Snow and rain could persist until about 7 a.m. Monday, with conditions becoming mostly sunny with a high near 38, the weather service said.

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