Tom Renwick, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said snow is expected to begin around midnight Sunday at lower elevations in Southwest Colorado, with snowfall starting Sunday evening at higher elevations.
“The storm will come in two waves. We got the first wave Saturday. On Sunday, during the day, we’ll have a lull, and the second wave will come Sunday night. We’re looking for it to kick in around 11 p.m. to midnight, fairly late,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 15 inches of snow. Purgatory Resort had 4 inches of new snow, and Telluride Ski Area reported 3 inches.
On Sunday morning, conditions were listed as snowpacked on Wolf Creek, Molas, Coal Bank and Red Mountain passes. Conditions on Lizard Head Pass were listed as slushy and icy in spots. On Sunday morning, no restrictions were in place for vehicles on any mountain passes in Southwest Colorado.
A hazardous weather outlook is in effect for the mountains of the Western Slope and eastern Utah through Monday with colder air expected to move into the region by Sunday afternoon ahead of Sunday night snowfall in the mountains. Snow should continue through Monday afternoon.
Snow accumulations in the San Juan Mountains are expected to be 2 to 3 feet with heavier snowfall favoring the eastern San Juans, according to the hazardous weather outlook.
At lower elevations, a winter weather advisory is in effect from 11 p.m. Sunday through 2 p.m. Monday along the U.S. Highway 160 corridor from the Utah border to Pagosa Springs with snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches expected in the Animas and San Juan river basins.
Snowfall is expected to create slippery road conditions for the Monday morning commute in Southwest Colorado.
The first wave of precipitation on Saturday was reported mostly as rain at lower elevations. Durango reported 0.73 inches of rain from the first punch of the storm and Silverton reported 11 inches of snowfall.
Jim Andrus, a Cortez weather watcher, reported a total of 0.16 inches of precipitation, mostly as rain, but he said a brief hailstorm moved through town Saturday night. Wind gusts were also strong. Andrus estimated wind gusts of about 40 mph, but he doesn’t have wind measuring equipment.
Another storm is expected to arrive in northern and central Colorado on Friday and Saturday, but it is expected to miss Southwest Colorado, Renwick said.
Renwick said he expected high temperatures to reach the high 40s and possibly the low 50s in Durango and Cortez by next weekend.
The high temperature for Durango on Monday is forecast to be 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The high Monday in Cortez is expected to be 38, in Silverton, 22; and in Telluride, 27.