A weak system that might bring snow flurries in lower valleys of Southwest Colorado and accumulations of up to 5 inches in the San Juan Mountains is expected to come through Tuesday.
Erin Walter, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the precipitation could start Monday night in the San Juan Mountains, especially in the eastern San Juans. On Tuesday, it could begin as rain in Durango and Cortez.
“Tuesday, it’s tricky at lower elevations. It depends on how cold it gets. We’re predicting a high of 47 (degrees) in Cortez, so it could come as rain during the day. You might see some flurries early Tuesday in Durango and Cortez,” she said.
The San Juans Mountains could see 2 to 5 inches, with snow starting earlier than in the valleys, perhaps Monday night, Walter said.
“It won’t be a huge push of moisture,” she said.
It’s still early, and Walter cautioned that snowfall accumulation estimates could change.
On Wednesday, another system, even weaker than the expected Tuesday storm, is expected in Southwest Colorado. The majority of the system on Wednesday is likely to remain north of Colorado, and Walter said the storm will favor the northern San Juans with some flurries and rain possible in Durango, Cortez and lower elevations.
After Wednesday, a clearing and warming trend is expected in Southwest Colorado through the weekend, Walter said.
According to Colorado SNOTEL, Southwest Colorado is at 116% of the 30-year average snowpack as of Sunday, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center lists the risk of avalanches in the San Juan Mountains as moderate.
On Sunday, Purgatory Resort reported a base of 50 inches with all trails open. Telluride Ski Area reported a 45-inch base with 132 of 147 trails open. Wolf Creek Ski Area reported a 76-inch base with all trails open.