New year begins with odd weather

Barbara Lawlor, Nederland.   In the past 10 days, the mountains west of Boulder have experienced record breaking snow for the month, hurricane rated winds and below zero temperatures, followed by rain in Ned on Monday, January 8, 2017.

 
Residents weren’t sure whether they should batten the hatches, get out the snowshoes, hire a plow three times a day for the drifts or carry an umbrella.

 
It wasn’t just in the mountains. The past week’s storm pushed semis over on. flatland highways and caused two-hour delays for ski traffic. Large trees cracked in half. People had to hang onto their hats and Crested Butte Ski area had to close because of too much snow.

 
Schools were closed on Thursday and the Nederland High School ski team race at Eldora Mountain Resort was cancelled because the safety netting was buried in snow.

 
Emergency workers were kept busy directing traffic around slide off, non-injury accidents and a sheriff’s deputy was posted at the intersection of Hwy. 119 and the Eldora Road, directing the huge volume of ski traffic heading towards town. It may have been windy but that didn’t stop the crowds from coming up to catch the powder.

 
Trucks with plows worked non-stop to replow the drifts.

 


About two feet of snow fell on the Nederland area. Gold Hill reported 87 mph winds. Usually the foothills average about 12 inches of snow in January.

 
Last Thursday a cold front stalled over Colorado and a large amount of moisture streamed into the state from the west. Roads became slick with ice due to the moist nature of the storm.

 
The below zero wind chill temperatures continued through Wednesday, with a few inches accumulating every day.

 
Of course the wind kept on blowing, and howling, with gusts averaging about 40 to 60 mph every day in the past week.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.