It’s the first day of summer, and snow – yes, snow – is in the forecast for this weekend in the high country of the San Juan Mountains.
Erin Walter, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said a storm system is moving into Southwest Colorado on Saturday that will linger in the mountains north of Durango until Sunday afternoon.
During that time, anywhere from 1 to 4 inches of snow could fall at elevations above 8,700 feet.
“It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s also the first day of summer,” Walter said. “So it is a lot for this time of year.”
Temperatures are expected to drop throughout the region this weekend. In Silverton, the daytime high Saturday and Sunday is expected to hover around 50 degrees, and the overnight low, about 30 degrees.
The amount of snowfall, Walter said, will depend on how temperature and available moisture in the atmosphere line up.
In Durango, the chance of rain persists throughout the weekend. Daytime highs are expected to be around 70 degrees, while overnight lows should dip to the mid-30s. The NWS is calling for a return to hot and dry conditions next week.
Freddie Canfield, a weather observer for the NWS who writes a weekly weather column in the Silverton Standard & the Miner, said snowfall is not all that unusual during summer in the town, which sits at an elevation of 9,318 feet.
In fact, Canfield said he’s seen it snow during every month of the year in the 35 years he has lived in Silverton.
“Back in the early ’90s, on the third day of July, there was a significant snowstorm that sent flatlanders screaming,” he said. “They broke into a structure here in town that had a cold-fired stove. It got wild.”
Canfield, too, said this weekend’s snow is going to depend on how cold temperatures and moisture align. Still, he hasn’t put his winter clothes away just yet.
“I wouldn’t doubt it at all,” he said.