Some “fairly typical spring weather” is on its way to Southwest Colorado, meteorologists say.
While most of the nasty weather will stay north of Red Mountain Pass, Durango and Cortez should expect a rain-snow mix this weekend. Thunderstorms could start as early as Saturday afternoon and continue into Saturday night, persisting most of the day Sunday, said Chris Cuoco, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
Durango residents can expect temperatures Saturday night and Sunday morning in the upper 20s, and Cortez will be about 5 degrees warmer, Cuoco said. Although the temperature difference isn’t drastic, it’s right in the sweet spot where snow melts and turns to rain, Cuoco said.
La Plata County emergency responders will be watching rain carefully for any impacts it has on accelerating the spring runoff, which has already caused flooding throughout the county, including on East Animas Road (County Road 250) north of Durango, Florida Road (County Road 240) northeast of Durango and in the Hermosa area below the 416 Fire burn scar.
The slight temperature difference means people in Durango may wake up Sunday morning to about an inch of snow on the ground, while Cortez residents likely won’t see any accumulation, Cuoco said.
Any snow will likely melt by Sunday afternoon, with temperatures right around 40 degrees, Cuoco said. The rain and snow mix will continue through the day Sunday, he said.
Elevations above 9,000 feet could see up to 5 inches of accumulation starting Saturday afternoon and tapering off Sunday afternoon, Cuoco said.
Next week looks to be dry until Wednesday, when the region should expect another storm with a good chance of snow in the high country and a rain-snow mix at lower elevations, Cuoco said.