Updated February 13, 2009 at midnight
Steamboat Springs A fast-moving storm system is expected to exit the region around midday today but not before leaving as much as 10 inches of snow on nearby mountains.
A winter weather advisory is in effect until noon today, according to the National Weather Service. The advisory took effect at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The Pacific storm associated with the system was expected to move into Northwest Colorado from the southwest part of the state late Thursday. Snowfall was expected to intensify overnight and persist into this morning over the northern and central mountains of Colorado.
Between 4 and 7 inches of snow are forecast for downtown Steamboat, with locally higher amounts possible. Ten inches or more could fall on the slopes of Mount Werner.
Today's high temperature will be 29 degrees, with an overnight low of 9 degrees. Snow returns to the forecast Saturday, and a chance of precipitation will continue into the beginning of next week, including the Presidents Day holiday.
The National Weather Service warns that hazardous driving conditions may exist throughout the duration of the storm cycle, particularly on mountain passes such as Rabbit Ears Pass.
Driving conditions were particularly bad on Rabbit Ears Pass on Wednesday night, when several cars slid off U.S. Highway 40, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Several semitrailers also jack-knifed as a result of the icy roads.
Officials closed U.S. 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass from 7 p.m. to about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday as crews worked to clear the road of the vehicles. No injuries were reported, and none of the vehicles suffered any significant damage, according to State Patrol troopers.