- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - A winter snowstorm began moving into Colorado on Friday, bringing joy to ski areas and leaving snow plow workers hunkering down for a long weekend.

National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey said the first wave of snow began sliding into the state from the Gulf of Alaska on Friday. On Saturday, a second wave is expected to move into Colorado, bringing snow and a lot more moisture from the Southwest.

The snowstorm is expected to hit the Front Range hard on Saturday night, with up to 14 inches of snow over much of the area. Up to 2 feet of snow is expected along the Front Range foothills by Monday.

Colorado Ski Country USA spokeswoman Jennifer Rudolph said the snowfall is coming just in time for ski resorts, which have had a so-so season so far with a lot of average snowfalls.

“This is great news. It’s great timing with spring break on the horizon,” Rudolph said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has at least 500 snowplows on standby, with plans to stop traffic from backing up heading up steep inclines like the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel. Drivers are being asked to follow snowplows up the mountain if roads become too slick, especially ski traffic during the morning rush and the evening trip home for those who venture out.

“If people don’t have to travel, we’re asking them to stay home,” said Transportation Department spokeswoman Amy Ford.

Most of the mountain snow is expected to fall in Vail and Pitkin County, but 7 inches of snow or more is expected in Telluride, where a lack of snow has been hampering the filming of Quentin Tarantino’s snow-centric movie in the ski town.

Telluride has only had 7 inches of snow in the last 30 days, forcing the director to shoot indoor scenes of “The Hateful Eight,” which is set during a post-Civil War blizzard, the Durango Herald (https://bit.ly/1CUqLIV ) reports.

The film starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh is being shot at a 900-acre ranch. It’s expected to be released in the fall.

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