Passing storm dumps snow in Durango, spares nearby towns – The Journal


Silverton received 1½ inches, but US Highway 550 was mostly clear

Durango received no more than 1.5 inches of snow from a quick snowfall Monday morning. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Residents of Durango were greeted with a snowy start to the week after a fast-moving weak weather disturbance moved through the area early Monday and deposited up to 1½ inches of snow in town.

Megan Stackhouse, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said most towns near Durango were spared.

“On the outskirts of Bayfield and Pagosa Springs, they only saw a few tenths of an inch of the north side of Pagosa,” Stackhouse said. “It looks like Durango got the most out of it as far as the valleys go.”

Silverton received about the same amount of snow as Durango. Traffic cameras show that US Highway 550 is mostly clear north towards Silverton, but the road becomes snowy as it approaches Ouray.

“It was all kind of confined to those 1-2 inches,” Stackhouse said.

The storm did little to strengthen the base of the region’s ski resorts. Neither Purgatory Resort nor Telluride Ski Resort reported snowfall after Monday’s storm. Both stations are expected to open later this month. Wolf Creek Pass, which already operates ski lifts, reported 3 inches of new snow.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center moved conditions in the San Juan Mountains to a “low danger” rating at all elevations on Monday and expects conditions to remain relatively safe on Tuesday.

The layer of ice that encrusted sidewalks and car windshields resulted from lower than normal temperatures, Stackhouse said. Although no further precipitation is expected this week, low temperatures are expected to continue throughout the week. Daytime highs will hover in the 40s in the Durango, Bayfield and Cortez areas and drop into the teens overnight.

While no precipitation is expected in the valleys, Stackhouse said the highest peaks in the San Juans could see up to an additional inch or two of snow as remnants of the unstable climate deposit residual moisture.

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