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January 28, 2013
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Winter storm moves into western Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A vigorous winter storm is moving across western Colorado.

The storm is expected to last through Thursday in the northern Colorado mountains and bring several inches of snow to the Front Range.

The National Weather Service said Monday that snow could be as deep as 20 inches in some areas, with winds up to 50 miles an hour.

Statewide precipitation this winter has been well below normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows all of Colorado experiencing some level of drought. The Natural Resources Conservation Service listed the statewide snowpack as 67 percent of average as of Monday.

Officials told the state Water Availability Task Force last week that statewide reservoir storage is at about 68 percent of average, and municipal water providers are preparing in case drought conditions persist.

Southwest Colorado is in better shape, with snowpack listed at 79 percent of average. And the snow has been falling the past few days.

Among southwest Colorado ski areas, Silverton Mountain was reporting 32 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours as of Monday morning, and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort reported 18 new inches as of Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, parts of U.S. 550 over Coal Bank and Molas passes were closed for avalanche control work Monday.

The La Plata Electric Association said heavy, wet snow that downed some power lines led to outages for hundreds of people in southwest Colorado over the weekend, but power was fully restored Monday afternoon.

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The Summit Daily Updated Jan 28, 2013 11:29PM Published Jan 28, 2013 11:27PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.