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As Chaffee County receives its first day of snowfall for the 2020 fall and winter season, the forecast shows that the storm won’t stop till Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, Chaffee County is under a winter storm warning with a hard freeze warning in effect on the eastern part of the state. Both Monarch Pass and Cottonwood Pass were closed as of 6:43 p.m., with Colorado State Patrol and Chaffee Sheriff’s Office working on traffic accidents on the high passes.

Chaffee County Sheriff John Speeze, who had just come down from Cottonwood Pass told Ark Valley Voice, “We’re lucky there isn’t a lot of traffic right now. If this would have been yesterday with the holiday traffic it would have been bad.”

Snow on Tenderfoot mountain. Photo by Brooke Gilmore.

Salida is predicted to receive snow through this evening into the late afternoon on Wednesday Sept. 9. Then snow is expected to start again late Wednesday evening until early Thursday morning with lows of 29 degrees.

Buena Vista will see lows of 25 degrees and snow expected throughout the evening into midday Wednesday. The storm is expected to pick back up late Wednesday night to early morning Thursday.

With snow already sticking to the ground in Salida, and five to nine inches projected for this evening, the storm will impact the evening and morning commutes for the next two days. Low visibility is possible on mountain passes and those who are traveling should be aware. Gusty winds are expected. Higher elevations could see rounds of intense snowfall with snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour.