Two separate storm systems could bring rain and a trace of snow to Cortez through the weekend, with some snow accumulation possible in the San Juan mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
The first storm is expected to be a quick one, arriving Friday night and disappearing by sunrise Saturday, said Chris Cuoco, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
A 30 percent chance of rain is forecast for the Cortez area after 4 p.m. Friday, with a chance for snow between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. The high is expected to be near 50 degrees and the low about 31.
Elevations above 7,000 feet are expected to receive snow, including 2 to 3 inches in the San Juan Mountains, Cuoco said.
A mix of rain and snow is possible before 9 a.m. Saturday, with a 60 percent chance of rain for the rest of the day. Saturday’s high will be near 46 degrees, and the low around 33.
The second storm is expected to arrive Saturday afternoon, bringing snow above 7,500 feet in elevation, with the snowline dipping to about 6,500 feet on Sunday, Cuoco said. Based on early weather models, forecasters are calling for another 5 to 6 inches of snow in the San Juan Mountains from the second storm.
The wet mix will continue through Saturday evening, with a chance of snow late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Sunday, there is a 70 percent chance of precipitation with rain likely for most of the day. The high will be near 44 and the low about 29.
“It looks like the second shot is going to be the most significant of the two, with periods of rain in Durango and periods of snow in the mountains,” Cuoco said. “All of this is coming from the south with southerly flow, so it’s going to be warm with rain at the lower elevations and snow pretty high up.”
The weather should clear up by Monday, with the President’s Day forecast predicting mostly sunny skies and a high of 49 degrees. But snow could return by the middle of next week as a Pacific storm impacts the area, according to the weather service.
Cortez has seen more than 2.2 inches of precipitation in the year so far. That’s nearly 200 percent of the normal precipitation level, according to AccuWeather.
Shane Benjamin of The Durango Herald contributed to this story.