Snow is on its way to Southwest Colorado, meteorologists predict, and the Colorado Department of Transportation is preparing for slick conditions in the southern San Juan Mountains.
A winter storm warning is in effect until midnight Sunday for the southwest San Juan Mountains, with heavy and blowing snow predicted to accumulate from 8 to 20 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
Winds may gust up to 50 miles per hour, and some areas may get up to 2 feet of snow, making travel “very difficult to impossible” around Telluride, Ouray, Lake City, Silverton, Rico and Hesperus, according to the winter storm warning.
OpenSnow.com predicts 9 inches of snow at Purgatory Resort in the next five days – Wolf Creek could get up to 24 inches by Wednesday.
“Besides high mountain showers, the bulk of the storm should start sometime late this evening across the Four Corners and into the San Juan (Mountains),” said meteorologist Dennis Phillips. “The (weather) system is diving into Great Basin at that time, and that should help pull cold air down and focus into the south.”
CDOT, as of noon Saturday, has enacted commercial and passenger vehicle restrictions on Wolf Creek Pass. An alert posted Friday night on COtrip.org warns drivers of possible mountain pass restrictions and closures.
Temperatures at lower elevations are expected to hover around freezing as snow falls Saturday night into Sunday. Snow may pack on U.S. Highways 550 and 160 at higher elevations, Phillips said.
“Be ready for some wintry travel conditions through tomorrow (Sunday), and probably into early Monday,” he said. “The roadways might be a little messy.”