UPDATE: Winter cometh to the Yampa Valley | SteamboatToday.com

UPDATE: Winter cometh to the Yampa Valley

1:00 p.m. Rabbit Ears Pass has reopened to traffic.

Noon From YVEA: Currently, we are experiencing intermittent blinking lights and power outages caused by heavy, wet snow loading up on the power lines and trees. As the trees shed their snow load or limbs break and fall into the power lines, they cause the power issues we are experiencing today. We have 338 members without power across our entire system (this number fluctuates as we more regain power and the issues above continue to occur due to the snow). Crews are currently working on these outages to restore power. We are handing these outages one-by-one, restoring power to those affected. With this weather pattern expected to continue throughout the day, our YVEA crews are preparing to effectively manage these issues. The intermittent and scattered blinks and outages will continue until it warms up enough for the snow to shed off everything.

11:30 a.m. CDOT is now closing Colo. Highway 134.

11 a.m. Rabbit Ears Pass is closed because of a jack-knifed moving van.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The month of October came in like a lion Sunday with fat flakes of snow accumulating in the Yampa Valley.

"It's what we were expecting," said Matthew Aleksa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. "The models have been showing the last few days a low pressure system and stronger jet stream."

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The storm prompted a winter storm warning for the mountains surrounding Steamboat Springs through Monday night.
Late Sunday afternoon, the webcam at the top of Steamboat Ski Area was showing about 12 inches of snow, and the snow was still falling.

Webcams from Rabbit Ears Pass showed wet, slushy roads, but colder weather was expected with snow accumulating on the roads.

"I expect high-elevation passes to become snow-covered and potentially close due to accidents," wrote Joel Gratz, who runs opensnow.com. "The best chance for this to happen will be on Sunday night and maybe Monday night and during times of heaviest snowfall."

Between 3 to 5 inches of snow was expected in the Yampa Valley by 6 p.m. Monday.

"Enjoy the storm and the amazing views of snow-covered mountains and golden aspen leaves," Gratz wrote.

Aleksa said it was expected to begin getting drier Monday night with a dry flow from the southwest.

That would also likely come with breezy conditions through the end of the week.

Another storm system is expected to move across Wyoming and clip Northwest Colorado by Thursday and going into Friday.

With the high temperature expected to be 38 degrees Monday, it will definitely begin to feel like winter.

The low temperature Monday night is expected to be 24 degrees before a gradual warming trend descends on Steamboat for the rest of the week.

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