Two powerful winter storms could dump up to 30 inches of snow in the San Juan Mountains this week, making travel “very difficult to impossible.”

A Winter Storm Warning issued for the southwestern Colorado mountains for 11:00 PM on Tuesday will remain in effect until 5:00 AM Friday. Heavy snow is expected above 8,500 feet ranging in accumulations of 12 to 20 inches, but totals could reach up to 30 inches in some spots. High altitude flakes are expected to begin as early as Tuesday evening and last through Friday. Cities impacted include Telluride, Ouray, Lake City, Silverton, and Rico. Initially, 24 inches of snow was the upper limit of the prediction.

Snow will also return across much of Colorado’s high county, with significant snow accumulations possible over the mountains along the Continental Divide, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Wet Mountains, and Pikes Peak. Heavy snow is likely in the northern and western mountains mainly above 8,500 feet from Wednesday into Thursday evening. Several inches of snow will also be possible across the highest peaks of the central and south-central mountains by Thursday evening.

The San Luis Valley, southeastern Plains, and areas along the I-25 corridor can also expect to see light snow accumulations, mainly on Thursday.

Please note that all weather statements and snow accumulations are subject to change. For more information from the National Weather Service, click here.

Expect hazardous winter driving conditions with snow-packed and icy roads. Very poor visibility in blowing snow is also expected. If possible, motorists are encouraged to stay off the roads. If you must go out, give yourself extra travel time. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. For the latest road conditions, please visit Cotrip.org.

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