The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the San Juan Mountains, including the towns of Silverton, Telluride, Ouray and Hesperus, with up to a foot of snow expected at elevations above 7,000 feet.
The U.S. Highway 550 corridor north of Durango saw snow flurries start Saturday afternoon.
In light of the storm, Colorado Department of Transportation issued traction and chain laws for Molas, Coal Bank and Red Mountain passes, requiring vehicles to be equipped with chains or alternative traction devices.
Increased snowfall is expected as a cold front moves into the region Saturday evening, said meteorologist Jeff Colton of the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
“We are going to see moderate to heavy snowfall in the mountains,” Colton said. “It is going to be a winter wonderland up there.”
In town, a steady drizzle of rain was a welcome reprieve from the dry weather plaguing Southwest Colorado.
But as temperatures cool down Saturday evening, Durangoans could wake up to 1 to 3 inches of fresh snow Sunday morning.
“Conditions will continue to deteriorate through the evening,” Colton said. “Expect some snow to fall in Durango starting around 8 or 9 p.m., and icy conditions could develop overnight.”
As the winter storm moves out of the region Sunday afternoon, cold temperatures will linger until early next week, Colton said.
“The sun will be out in the afternoon on Sunday, but there will be a high around 34 degrees,” he said. “It’s really going to be a roller coaster with the temperatures now.”
Highs in the mid-30s are expected through the weekend, with low temperatures in the single digits.