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Wave of storms heading toward Southwest Colorado

Low-pressure systems moving in from California and Oregon will bring more snow to region
City crews remove snow on Thursday from Arroyo Drive in west Durango. The street is considered a problem street for ice and water drainage and is narrow, so snow must be removed in preparation for the next storm. The city has removed 473 dump truck loads of snow so far from some of the 164-lane miles of roads within the city of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

A parade of low-pressure systems is making its way into Southwest Colorado, with the first blast of moisture expected to arrive Saturday evening and stick around until Sunday night.

“The systems have been working into the West Coast,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kris Sanders. “We’ve been tracking them from Oregon into California. The mountains will get the first wave of precipitation with snow in the (U.S. Highway) 160 corridor, and then there will be an uptick in the valleys. The snowfall will continue through Sunday into Sunday night.”

Sanders said the valley areas of Southwest Colorado could warm up above freezing during the day Sunday.

“Road conditions could be bad in the morning, but then things should get better during the day, and then it should wrap up by Sunday night,” he said.

Those in the mountain areas above 8,000 feet can expect 6 to 12 inches of snow, with the peaks receiving up to 18 inches.

“Those areas below 8,000 feet can expect 5 to 8 inches in Durango and Pagosa, with maybe a little less in Ignacio,” Sanders said. “Cortez will probably get between 3 to 6 inches.”

He stressed this is not the only storm headed our way.

“This is a part of a ‘parade of systems,’” he said. “There will be a little break on Monday, but then Monday night, a low-pressure system is moving in, which will bring precipitation into the mountains and valley areas.”

A parade of low pressure systems is bringing snowfall to Southwest Colorado beginning on Saturday evening. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Sanders said the low-pressure systems moving in are part of the atmospheric river hitting California and causing major flooding to the state.

“All of these (systems) moving through could definitely be defined as an atmospheric river,” he said.

However, Sanders said the atmospheric rivers will lessen in intensity the farther east they travel.

“The ARs we get will just be remnants of the AR 4s and 5s in California,” he said. “They won’t be as strong.”


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