A winter weather advisory has been issued ahead of a storm expected to arrive Tuesday night in Southwest Colorado.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction said the advisory will kick into effect at 9 p.m. and last until 9 p.m. Wednesday for elevations above 6,500 feet. Durango is at 6,512 feet in elevation.
During this time, the NWS says 6 to 12 inches of snow is expected in the San Juan Mountains.
The NWS said travel “could be very difficult,” especially along U.S. Highway 550 and Colorado Highway 145 on Coal Bank, Molas, Red Mountain and Lizard Head passes. Snow-covered roads and limited visibility are expected.
In Montezuma County, there’s a slight chance of snow throughout the day Tuesday.
Tuesday night, the NWS said 3 to 5 inches of snow accumulation is possible. The chance for snow continues Wednesday, though the NWS is calling for less than 1 inch.
The NWS also issued an avalanche watch for the San Juan Mountains for Tuesday evening through Wednesday for “very dangerous avalanche conditions.”
The avalanche danger will begin overnight if the forecast meets expectations, the NWS said. On Tuesday morning, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center reported a “moderate” risk of avalanches, Level 2 based on a scale that ranges from a “low” risk at Level 1 to an “extreme” risk at Level 5.
“Avalanches will be large, easy to trigger and will release naturally,” the NWS said in its statement.
Backcountry travel is not advised during this time.