Steamboat Springs It might be time to find that pair of gloves you tucked away in the spring.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a winter storm warning for Steamboat Springs and the surrounding mountains through 6 p.m. Friday.
The storm is forecast to pack a punch with heavy snow and gusty winds.
As temperatures dropped dramatically at about 5 p.m. Thursday because of the approaching cold front, the city was getting its snowplows ready.
Police here also were anticipating a busy day Friday if the forecast for heavy snow rings true.
"It could be a busy day for us," Police Sgt. John McCartin said. "Up here, people are very good about driving in these conditions, but the first storm usually is a wake-up call when we haven't had anything like this for four or five months."
During the first snowstorm of the season, the city usually sees more fender benders and other crashes. McCartin said excessive speeds for the road conditions usually is the biggest factor in the crashes.
"Give yourself some extra time to get to where you're going," he said, adding that if the roads are icy and snow packed, put more space between you and the cars in front.
It's also a good time to replace windshield wipers if they're not in good condition.
The Weather Service is advising that blowing snow could make drives on nearby mountain passes, including Rabbit Ears, treacherous.
Temperatures could dip below 20 degrees Friday night.
The forecast is calling for 5 to 10 inches of snow in the mountains and 3 to 7 inches in the Steamboat area.
The weekend weather is a much different story. Skies should be clear, and highs will return to the 50s.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.
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