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Winter weather is on its way to Southwest Colorado

After weeks of above-normal temperatures, two storm systems bring promise of snow
Two storms are expected to bring winter weather to Durango this week after weeks of above-average temperatures. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

After an unseasonably warm fall, forecasts show winter weather will be moving into Southwest Colorado this week.

“Temperatures are going to be dropping over the next few days,” said meteorologist Jeff Colton with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “It’s going to feel much colder, but we’ll still be near normal. We’ve been well above normal for the past few weeks, so winter settling in is going to be a shock to some and a welcome sight to others.”

A system coming out of the Pacific Northwest will make its way to Southwest Colorado on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

The mountains are expected to receive 2 to 4 inches of snow, with lower elevations like Cortez, Durango and Pagosa Springs expected to receive less than an inch of snow.

“It doesn’t look like a huge storm at this point,” Colton said. “It’ll be much needed, and welcome snow. Every flake is going to count this year.”

Later in the week, a second storm system from the Pacific Northwest is expected arrive.

On Thursday a larger, colder, storm system has the potential to dump more than a foot of snow in the San Juan Mountains, and 2 and 4 inches in Durango. Colton said the storm system could last into Saturday.

“If everything holds together on it, that should be your first measurable snowfall in Durango,” Colton said.

Colton said the Pacific Northwest has received record rainfall this fall, but all of those storms have been deflected north into southern Canada.

“We’re just kind of waiting for that whole pattern to shift and move down, and it looks like it’s finally starting to happen this month,” Colton said.

njohnson@durangoherald.com

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