A winter storm watch has been issued from Friday to Monday for the San Juan Mountains as an approaching storm is expected to drop up to 2 feet of snow in the high country.
The watch takes effect Friday night and lasts until late Monday.
During this time, heavy snow is possible, with accumulations between 1 to 2 feet, with locally higher amounts possible. Travel could be “very difficult to impossible,” especially on U.S. Highway 550, according to the National Weather Service.
Wind gusts could reach as high as 55 mph in high elevation areas, the Weather Service said.
Towns in the winter storm watch include Silverton, Hesperus, Rico, Ouray, Telluride and Lake City.
In Durango, rain is expected to start Friday night and continue into Saturday. Snow is possible Saturday night into Sunday and Monday, the Weather Service said.
The snow forecasting website Open Snow is calling for bolder snow totals, saying more than 3 feet of snow could fall in the San Juan Mountains.
Open Snow says snow will start Friday night and continue through Saturday, with the first intense wave of snow coming Saturday night.
On Sunday, Open Snow predicts a lull between two parts of the storm, with the second wave coming Sunday night into Monday.
“The southern mountains should be in the 20-40 inch range,” Open Snow’s meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote.
Gratz said Wolf Creek Ski Area could receive some of the highest snow totals from the storm, with more than 30 inches possible. Open Snow says Purgatory Resort may receive a little more than a foot.