Avalanche concerns rise as snow falls; Increased chance for avalanche as temperatures change rapidly

DENVER - A storm is dumping heavy snow in the Colorado mountains and foothills, causing hazardous travel and raising avalanche concerns.

Immediate concerns include packed snow parts of Interstate 70 between Vail and Idaho Springs and poor conditions along U.S. 6 over Loveland Pass.

But with one serious snow slide already reported, the concern will shift to avalanche potential on Saturday and Sunday.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported 6 to 10 inches of snow had fallen Friday along the Front Range, Vail-Summit County and Sawatch areas.

With sunny weather expected Saturday and warmer temperatures on Sunday, the center says that's a recipe for potentially deadly avalanches in those areas.

"Some of these slides will have the potential to step down deep into the snowpack resulting in a very large and potentially deadly avalanche," a CAIC advisory states. "Travel cautiously this weekend and do not let spring fever lead you into making poor decisions."

Already, U.S. 40 over Berthoud Pass was closed due to a snow slide Friday afternoon. 

"Travel cautiously this weekend and do not let spring fever lead you into making poor decisions," the CAIC advisory concluded.

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