Strong westerly winds are a sure bet today around the Central Mountains. How much snow will fall this morning for those winds to transport is the big question. Unfortunately the weather models don't agree all that well, leaving a big potential spread for what might actually stack up on the ground.
Although we expect a lot of regional variation in today's snow totals, the guidance on what to do about the changing conditions is broadly applicable. 8" of drifted snow is a good benchmark for identifying features of concern. Some areas in West Elks and Elk Mountains may see drifts of these or greater depths develop by late morning on many alpine and near-treeline easterly-facing features. Further east in the Sawatch mountains, fresh drifts this deep may be hard to find.
The prior snow surface is a critical factor in how sensitive these drifts will be to human triggering. Places where the drifts land on dense, settled snow will be less reactive. Where drifts build on weak faceted surfaces, or on slick and stiff old drifts, these new drifts may pop out more easily. Watch for rapidly changing conditions as the day progresses, and monitor the sensitivity of drifted snow by using small test features before committing to any larger slopes.