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Cold temps, dry conditions to kick off the week ahead in Southwest Colorado

Forecasters say low temps will be 10 degrees cooler than average
Weather forecasters are calling for cool temperatures at the beginning of the week, with a warming trend later in the week. Not much moisture is in the forecast for Southwest Colorado. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

A northerly storm that favored the Northern Rocky Mountains missed much of Southwest Colorado late this week, but it delivered a blast of cold air that will stick around.

Weather forecasters say temperatures will remain cool Sunday and Monday, with a warming trend beginning Tuesday.

The low Sunday morning is expected to be 8 or 10 degrees, which is about 10 degrees below average for this time of year, said Lucas Boyer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

“That cold air will stick around probably into Monday,” Boyer said. “Monday morning lows will be chilly again.”

A southwesterly flow will return Tuesday, and warmer temperatures will return to Southwest Colorado, he said. The highs Tuesday and Wednesday should hit the upper 40s, which is about 5 degrees above average for this time of year, he said.

The shift should also bring cloud coverage midweek, but it is unlikely to deliver any moisture, he said. Another storm could graze Southwest Colorado late in the week, but little to no precipitation is expected for Cortez or Durango, Boyer said.

Pagosa Springs may see snow this upcoming Thursday or Friday, he said. Likewise, Wolf Creek Pass should receive snow later in the week.

“Unfortunately, the track of the low right now keeps some of the moisture shunted away from us and it might just be more of a cold front than anything,” Boyer said. “But the mountains, they always manage (to get snow). Wolf Creek can get snow out of just a gentle breeze.”

As of Friday, the average snowpack in the San Juan Basin, which includes a dozen SNOTEL sites, was only 3.37 inches, which is 1.56 inches below the median for this time of year and 2.17 inches less compared to this time last year.

But it is early in the season, and weather forecasters are predicting an El Niño weather pattern this winter, which could bring above-average snowfall to Southwest Colorado.

shane@durangoherald.com



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