Another snowstorm, typical of many this winter – small and fast-moving – is expected Monday with similar storm cells expected to move through Southwest Colorado on Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s like a lot of storms this winter,” said Tom Renwick, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, “It’s a quick, little wave that doesn’t have a lot of moisture associated with it.”
Renwick said accumulation of 2 to 4 inches is expected in the San Juan Mountains, but the valleys, including Durango, Cortez and Pagosa Springs might see accumulations of only up to half an inch.
“In the valleys, you might not see accumulations at all. The storm is coming from the north and has to get through the San Juans,” he said.
The most likely time for snowfall in Southwest Colorado, he said, was dawn to 2 p.m.
Most of the storms this winter have originated off the Northwest Coast, which generally doesn’t produce the largest snowfall amounts for Southwest Colorado, Renwick said.
Bigger snowstorms in the Four Corners tend to come from off the coast of California, he said.
“It all depends on where the jet stream sets up,” he said.
After Thursday, Renwick said the Four Corners should remain dry through Feb. 5. He added the winter is not over, and there is still time for the jet stream to move – bringing in storms with more snow punch to them to Southwest Colorado.
Despite the small accumulations left from each of the storms this winter, their frequency has kept regional snowpack healthy.
According to Colorado SNOTEL, the Animas, Dolores, San Juan and San Miguel river basins have 114% of their average 30-year snowpack as of Jan. 23.
On Sunday, Purgatory Resort reported a 46-inch base depth with nine of 12 lifts open. Telluride Ski Area reported a 45-inch base with all 17 lifts open. Wolf Creek Ski Area reported a 67-inch base with all nine lifts open.