Oh, hail! Stormy weather roils region

But after chilly afternoon, no big storms in forecast

Flowers didn’t fare well in Thursday afternoon’s rain and hailstorm at Colorado National Bank at Main Avenue and Ninth Street. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Flowers didn’t fare well in Thursday afternoon’s rain and hailstorm at Colorado National Bank at Main Avenue and Ninth Street.

La Plata County had its hazardous weather Thursday, which included gusty winds, locally heavy rain and, in Durango at least, hail.

“What happened was classic,” said Chris Cuoco, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “The storm will hug the mountains, then roll down to lower elevations.”

The storm that dropped hail in Durango and made it unseasonably chilly continued south to New Mexico, Cuoco said. It was all over about 3 p.m., he said.

The Weather Service said high temperatures through Monday will continue to be in the high 70s and the lows in the mid-50s. Daily thunderstorms are forecast.

Anecdotally, at least one bank thermometer in Durango showed a reading in the high 40s in the early afternoon Thursday. In any case, temperatures were abnormally low on a day when the normal high is in the 80s.

Rain and hail fell fast enough that a drain clogged at West Park Avenue and West Second Avenue, filling the street with water and causing traffic to be diverted for at least half an hour as city of Durango street crews cleared the drain.

Rainfall was not evenly distributed, Cuoco said. The Durango-La Plata County Airport saw one-hundredth of an inch, Durango received a few hundredths to one-tenth of an inch, while the area around Redmesa was the big winner – 0.42 inches.

Contrary to reports elsewhere, there was no snow in the San Juan Mountains, Cuoco said. Hail could have been mistaken for snow, he said.

“We didn’t see any snow,” Cuoco said. “It was too warm to snow.”

The weather for La Plata County will continue much the same, with some afternoon monsoonal rains, Cuoco said.

“No new storm systems are coming at us,” he said. “There won’t be a lot of change.”

Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said crews continue to clear a 2½-mile stretch of Colorado Highway 145 between Telluride and Placerville of mud slides.

“It’s an area that slides often,” Shanks said. “Crews were cleaning 29 culverts today.”

daler@durangoherald.com

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