After nearly a week of rain and snow in Southwest Colorado, it appears the weather gods are going to cooperate for the 48th annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.
The last week has featured an erratic and classic spring weather pattern in Southwest Colorado.
Areas around Silverton, for instance, have reported nearly 20 inches of new snow over the last three days. And in Durango, there have been on-and-off rain showers.
But it looks like the skies will part and provide nearly perfect weather conditions for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic that runs Friday through Sunday.
Chris Sanders, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a storm system will remain over Southwest Colorado into Thursday evening, bringing a chance of snow to the high country and scattered showers in lower elevations.
A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 12:01 a.m. Friday for elevations above 8,000 feet. During that time, up to 10 inches of snow could fall, with wind gusts up to 50 mph. The heaviest snow is expected to fall late morning/early afternoon Thursday.
But by Friday morning, the storm system will move out of the region and there will be a return to sunny and dry conditions, Sanders said.
The daytime high Friday through Saturday in Durango is expected to hover around 70 degrees, with winds between 5 to 10 mph. There’s no chance of rain during this period, Sanders said.
The main race Saturday from Durango to Silverton, a 50-mile trek that takes cyclists over two 10,000-foot mountain passes, should be in the mid-40s at start time in Durango and in the low 30s along Coal Bank and Molas passes, according to the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic website.
Temperatures will reach the mid-40s along Coal Bank and Molas passes and in the low 50s in Silverton by midday Saturday, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic event organizers wrote. Cyclists are advised to be aware there will be a little more snowpack on the road shoulders this year.
Event organizers said Thursday they did not see any need to alter the race.
Sunday there is a slight chance of scattered rain late in the day, Sanders said. Then, on Memorial Day, the region returns to the unsettled, wet weather pattern that defined this past week.