The Colorado Avalanche Information Center warns of a potentially large to “historic” avalanche threat, tweeting out the ‘extreme’ level 5 of 5 threat Thursday morning.
EXTREME Avalanche Danger (5 of 5) and an Avalanche Warning for Vail and Summit County, Sawatch, Gunnison and Aspen zones. Do not travel in the backcountry. Historic avalanches expected to valley floors. #CAICSummit #CAICSawatch #CAICAspen #CAICGunnison pic.twitter.com/xQuOXw6wTf
— CAIC:Statewide Info (@COAvalancheInfo) March 7, 2019
Multiple avalanches have occurred across the state in recent days. Slides in Wyoming and Colorado have turned deadly. CAIC reports two recent deaths, one in Wyoming when a snowmobiler was caught and buried in a slide on March 4. Another fatality occurred in Colorado as a back-country skier was buried in an avalanche on March 3.
Parts of I-70 have had to be shut down multiple times in recent day with multiple slides occurring, and blocking the roadway, including this slide caught on camera on March 3.
#ColoradoAvalanche: No, not the hockey 🏒 team! Snow slid down the mountainside, covering and closing sections of Interstate 70 west of Denver Sunday afternoon. Luckily, no injuries were reported. #Avalanche #COwx pic.twitter.com/NOJ1lGCSM8
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) March 5, 2019
On Thursday morning, local officials shut down a portion of Colorado’s I-70 and SR-91 due a natural gas leak after an avalanche hit near a local gas station.
An avalanche near the Conoco station in Copper Mountain has ruptured a natural-gas pipeline. Interstate 70 now is closed between Frisco and Vail. Colorado 91 is closed between Leadville and Copper Mountain. Crews are on scene. Stay tuned for more information.
— Summit Fire & EMS (@Summit_Fire) March 7, 2019
Following information and story from WeatherNation affiliate KOAA:
KOAA – The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) warned of “historic avalanche danger” around the central mountains of Colorado following recent heavy snow.
In a tweet Thursday morning, the CAIC raised its avalanche danger scale to “extreme.” That scale warns that major avalanches are very likely and natural and man-made avalanches are “certain.”
The avalanche warning is for the Vail, Summit County, Sawatch, Gunnison and Aspen zones.
The warning comes after yet another avalanche spilled snow onto I-70 early Thursday morning at Vail Pass. I-70 had been covered by multiple avalanches Sunday afternoon east of Copper Mountain.
Meanwhile, the Front Range, the San Juan, Steamboat and High Mesa zones were upgraded to 4/5 on the avalanche scale.
That means large avalanches are possible in many areas.