A winter weather advisory has been issued and chain laws are in effect for a winter storm that could drop up to 14 inches of snow Sunday in the San Juan Mountains.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction issued the advisory for 9 a.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday for areas that include Hesperus, Ouray, Rico, Silverton and Telluride.
During that time, snow accumulations are expected to range between 5 to 10 inches, with localized amounts up to 14 inches, the NWS said.
Drivers should expect slippery road conditions with reduced visibility. Wind gusts could reach as high as 40 mph, causing patchy blowing and drifting snow.
As of 1 p.m., a chain and traction law was in effect for Coal Bank and Molas passes on U.S. Highway 550, between Durango and Silverton.
As a result, chains or alternative traction devices are required for all commercial vehicles, including buses and vans that have a capacity for 16 or more people. Passenger vehicles must have snow or mud/snow tires, use chains/alternative tractions devices or have a four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive vehicle.
A chain law was in effect for Wolf Creek Pass between Pagosa Springs and South Fork, as well as Lizard Head Pass between Rico and Telluride. Chains or alternative-traction devices are required for all commercial vehicles, including buses.
In Durango, snow showers are likely before noon, then turning to a rain/snow mixture with the chance of thunderstorms. A chance of up to 3 inches of snow accumulation is possible in town.
The wintry and blustery conditions are expected to continue into Sunday night in Durango. Wind gusts could reach as high as 30 mph.
Monday’s forecast calls for a return to sunny and dry conditions, with a daytime high near 47 degrees.