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Storm produces 2-4 inches of wet, ‘cement’-like snow in San Juan Mountains

Another quick-moving system is forecast for next week
Light snow covers the Missionary Ridge burn area earlier this year. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

A short-lived storm that passed through Southwest Colorado on Tuesday night produced a decent amount of moisture in the San Juan Mountains, but only about a tenth of an inch of rain fell in lower elevations.

Steamboat Springs and parts of Crested Butte received up to 6 inches of snow, but farther south, the San Juan Mountains received 2-4 inches, said Dennis Phillips, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

But the snow was heavy and “cement”-like, meaning it contained a high concentration of moisture, Phillips said.

“It really actually turned out fairly well,” he said. “This was a leftover atmospheric river, so very wet, kind of Sierra-cement snow that just has a lot of liquid in it. ... Sierra-cement is kind of this real wet snow like they get in the Sierras, and the opposite is, we call it goose feathers because it’s real light and can blow around.”

A second quick-moving storm is expected to materialize next week, perhaps Nov. 18-19. Forecasters had hoped for a larger storm, but it is now appearing to be a smaller disturbance similar to Tuesday’s storm, Phillips said.

“I think this will be one of those years where Steamboat might have some snorkel days and down south might be struggling, unfortunately,” Phillips said.


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