Timmy Wignall, Salida, digs his car out of a snow berm

Timmy Wignall, Salida, digs his car out of a snow berm in the 100 block of F Street Monday. Wignall, who works in the rental shop at Monarch Mountain, said he was going to spend his day off work snowboarding at the mountain. As of 12:33 p.m. Monday, Monarch reported 13 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 17 inches in the past 48 hours, putting the mid-mountain snow depth at 70 inches.

The blue light, announcing 6 or more inches of snow, lit up on top of Tenderfoot Mountain Monday night following a weekend storm that dropped 17 inches of new snow at Monarch Mountain and 5-8 inches around Salida.

The fluffy, dry snow resulted in 0.55 inch of precipitation in Salida.

Monarch now has a mid-mountain base of 70 inches, and the new powder bumped the resort’s numbers for Monday.

“We definitely had higher numbers today,” Jessie Smith, marketing coordinator said. “School having a snow day helped as well.”

Salida schools canceled classes for a rare snow day.

“I’ve been here for 5 years, and it’s the first one I know about,” said Salida School District Superintendant Darryl Webb. “I talked to school board member Kyle Earhart, who has been around for 9 years, and this is the first one he remembers as well.”

Webb said the school district doesn’t have a hard and fast rule for deciding when to call a snow day for the schools.

“We contact the county first,” Webb said, “and Evalyn Parks (district transportation director) and I will drive the roads early, to see what they are like, before making a decision.”

Webb said in the case of this snow day, they decided the night before after hearing the forecast for snow to continue falling through noon.

Webb said the district has extra days built into its calendar for just such days, so the students won’t have to make up any days at the end of the year.

“Unless we get a lot more snow,” he said.

The National Weather Service has forecast a hazardous weather outlook through the coming weekend for south central and southeast Colorado.

A new weather system will begin Wednesday evening and last through the weekend, bringing a chance of snow Wednesday through Friday and significantly colder temperatures Thursday and Friday.

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