Luck for spring snow begins Saturday morning in southwest Colorado – The Durango Herald


The high country of the San Juan Mountains can grow up to 10 inches

A spring snowstorm is expected to move into southwestern Colorado on Saturday morning, which will stimulate depletion of the region’s snowpack in the high country.

Erin Walter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Friday night through Saturday should remain clear, but with temperatures dropping below freezing.

In Silverton, the overnight low is expected to reach 15 degrees and in Durango, 29 degrees.

On Saturday morning, however, the risk of precipitation shifts to the area and lasts until Sunday.

In the high country around Silverton, 2-4 inches of snow is expected between Saturday and Sunday, Walter said. In Durango, meanwhile, up to an inch can accumulate.

At altitudes above 9,500 feet, up to 10 inches can accumulate. The NWS issued a winter weather advisory for these areas from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday.

But Walter said the snow might not stick at lower elevations due to the warmer temperatures. Travel should not impact mountain passes, although drivers should exercise caution if the roads are icy or slippery.

Walter said the storm is a result of the low pressure system that moved through the area on Thursday, returning as a secondary low, which is on track to favor the San Juan Mountains.

“The San Juans seem to be doing their best with this system,” she said. “You guys, going into action with this storm is definitely good for water for spring and summer.”

Indeed, the snowpack in southwest Colorado is melting at a rapid rate.

At the end of February, snow levels were approaching historical averages, peaking at almost 90% of normal. By Friday, however, the snowpack had fallen to just 61% of average.

Walter said the storm is expected to leave the area by Sunday evening, with clear, dry conditions returning early next week.

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