Don’t expect to put away the snow shovels anytime soon – Southwest Colorado is expected to be hit by another snowstorm beginning Sunday night and extending to sunrise Tuesday.
To top it off, the long-expected designation of an El Niño year has been made by the Climate Prediction Center.
A winter storm advisory has been issued from 3 p.m. Sunday until 6 p.m. Tuesday for the San Juan Mountains, including Hesperus, Silverton, Rico, Telluride, Ouray and Lake City. The warning means travel will be hazardous or impossible during the storm.
Montezuma County could see up to 3 inches of snow Sunday night and up to 3 inches on Monday. The low temperature on Sunday night was expected to be around 15 degrees, with a high of 29 on Monday. Lows Tuesday night are expected to plunge to 2 degrees.
Most of the snow from the storm is expected to fall Monday, Presidents Day.
Higher elevations in the San Juan Mountains could see up to 2 feet of snow, said Scott Stearns, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
Winds expected during the storm should favor snow accumulations on south-facing slopes, he said.
Another snowstorm is expected to move into Southwest Colorado late Wednesday and Thursday, with most of the snowfall expected Thursday, Stearns said.
According to a news release issued last week by the Climate Prediction Center, “Weak El Niño conditions are present and are expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2019.”
El Niño years favor above-average snowfall in the Southwest United States, including Southwest Colorado.
Purgatory Resort is reporting 2 feet of snow in the last four days with a base depth of 69 inches. Wolf Creek Ski Area Reports 19 inches of snow from the last storm with a midway depth of 93 inches. Telluride Ski Resort reports 9 inches of snow in the last 48 hours and a base depth of 64 inches.
The Colorado Avalanche Center reports the avalanche danger as considerable, or a 3 on a 5-point scale with a 5 being an extreme danger of avalanches.