Rabbit Ears Pass closed for nearly 2 hours Friday as wintry weather arrives | SteamboatToday.com

Rabbit Ears Pass closed for nearly 2 hours Friday as wintry weather arrives

— U.S. Highway 40 on Rabbit Ears Pass was closed for nearly two hours Friday because of difficulties in removing a semitrailer that had gone off the road.

The crash was reported at 5:16 a.m. near mile marker 144.

Colorado State Patrol trooper Nathan McDowell said speed contributed to the crash, and the male driver was not injured. McDowell said it was foggy at the time of the crash, and the driver mistakenly thought we was pulling into a parking area.

The trailer was empty.

U.S. 40 was closed shortly before 1 p.m. once the tow truck arrived from Dillon and began work to remove the trailer, which was expected to take about 30 minutes to one hour. It ended up taking nearly two hours.

Area roads were wet throughout the day. Above-freezing, daytime temperatures kept the roads from icing, but snow fell as a cold front moved through. Overnight temperatures in Steamboat Springs were expected to get down to 23 degrees.

Steamboat weather observer Art Judson reported at 7 a.m. Friday a 24-hour rain total of 0.22 inches bringing the September precipitation total to 4.33 inches. On average, Steamboat sees 2.19 inches of moisture in September.

A dusting of snow coated Steamboat Ski Area by early Friday evening. Judson said the Tower measuring site on Buffalo Pass recorded four inches of snow at 4 p.m.

The wet conditions again forced the organizers of the Kickball Klassic to change the tournament plans. Games were supposed to be played Friday and Saturday. Games now are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, when some relief from the rain is in sight.

According to Grand Junction National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Aleksa, high pressure is expected to build in the region during the weekend bringing drier air and clear skies.

"Temperatures should be rebounding as drier air moves in," Aleksa said. "It's going to warm up through next week."

He said the next chance for moisture in the Steamboat area is Wednesday and Thursday.

"At this point, it doesn't look like it will amount to much," Aleksa said.

Saturday's temperature is expected to top out at 60 degrees in Steamboat with a high of 68 forecast for Sunday. Low 70s are expected Monday and Tuesday with overnight lows above freezing.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland