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Winter storm to hit San Juan Mountains Wednesday

Snow is on the way for the southwest San Juan Mountains, with accumulations up to 20 inches above 9,000 feet. Above is the scene above Dolores Feb. 16. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
More than a foot of fresh snow expected for high country; Cortez and Durango will get rain, then snow

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the southwest San Juan Mountains from 6 a.m. Wednesday to midnight Thursday.

Snow accumulations of 12 to 20 inches are forecast for Rico, Silverton and Hesperus. Winds could gust to 45 mph, the National Weather Service said.

Travel could be difficult, with patchy blowing snow reducing visibility on highways and roads. The storm will leave the area by Friday.

The heaviest snow will be above 9,000 feet elevation, said Dan Quevas, a weather technician with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Telluride Ski Resort is expected to receive 6-12 inches of snow from the storm, and Purgatory may get a bit more than that, he said.

Purgatory Resort hopes to open Nov. 19, and Telluride on Nov. 24.

The storm will bring rain and up to an inch of snow to the lower valleys, Quevas said.

There is a 90% chance of rain for Cortez on Thursday, with snow in the evening and overnight.

Durango will see rain Wednesday night, then snow Thursday during the day and overnight.

Cortez is sneaking up on a normal precipitation year.

For October, the city saw 1.35 inches of precipitation, or 127% of normal – 1.06 inches.

Year-to-date precipitation for Cortez in 8.05 inches, or about 80% of the average of 10.07 inches through the end of October.

National Weather Service
Hesperus Ski Swap

The Hesperus Ski Swap is scheduled for Nov. 5 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m in Durango. Check out the new and used gear sales and buy passes to area resorts.

Public Gear Check-in is Nov. 3, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. To volunteer at the 59th annual ski swap, go to https://www.signupgenius.com