Snowy weather is expected to return this week to Southwest Colorado.
The snow was expected to start flying early Monday in Durango and parts of Montezuma County with 1 to 2 inches forecast for the lower elevations and 6 to 7 inches on Coal Bank Pass, said Lucas Boyer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
He said the snow will taper off by around 11 p.m. Monday.
Monday’s storm is expected to be the lighter of two storms passing through the region.
Another system is expected to arrive about sunrise Tuesday and stick around through Thursday morning. Sporadic snowfall during that time is expected to bring 8 to 12 inches to the lower elevations while mountain passes could receive 20 inches or more. Silverton is estimated to receive about 15 inches of snow and Cortez could collect 6 to 10 inches.
“With these storms pushing across the south, we get this nice upslope component,” Boyer said. “So the south side of the mountains are going to be in the favorable snowfall growth region.”
Pagosa Springs will also experience a powdery few days from Tuesday to Thursday with about a foot of snow forecast and up to 2 feet on Wolf Creek Pass.
The bulk of the snow will come Tuesday during the day and then scattered showers throughout Wednesday before tapering off Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
Boyer said the weather should dry out by midday Thursday, with clear skies expected until Sunday, when another slight chance of moisture arrives.
“As we get later into February, the sun angles really start climbing and it starts warming up enough that it makes the snow forecast a little bit more challenging,” Boyer said. “We lose some of that snow early in the system to warm air before it gets cold enough to materialize.”