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The winter storm that has hit the state is being called “a statewide storm” by the Colorado Department of Transportation, “causing difficult driving conditions no matter where you want to go.”

CDOT has announced  that U.S. 50 Monarch Pass between Poncha Springs and Gunnison has two potential winter operations scheduled for 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m. today. Both closures could last up to  three hours depending on weather conditions.

CDOT avalanche work on Monarch Pass. Photo courtesy of CDOT.

Westbound traffic over the pass will be stopped near the town of Monarch (MP 205) and eastbound traffic will be stopped west of Monarch Ski Resort (MP 200) to allow for avalanche control.

Drivers attempting to go in any direction across the state are urged to consult before starting out.

Various parts of the state are getting hit with snow at different times, which means motorists could encounter rapidly changing weather and road conditions, including blowing snow and poor visibility caused by high winds.

According to CDOT, the hardest hit areas are in southern Colorado from the Palmer Divide to the southern border and the southwestern mountain passes.

Monarch Mountain Lifts closed Due to High Winds

Monarch Mountain Ski Resort announced this morning that due to high winds, only two lifts were running, and those based on weather conditions: Breezy and the Caterpillar. With the road closures for avalanche control, if you’re there – you’re there. But you may not be going anywhere up or out for a while, at least today.

With the long President’s Day weekend approaching, the snow couldn’t come at a better time for skiers and snowboarders.