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Sunny, dry weather could give way to weekend showers

Predictions describe good chance for above-average winter moisture
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction predicts sunny, dry conditions for the Durango area this week, with sunshine possibly giving way to showers during the weekend. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

People wishing for winter and snow to come to Durango will have to keep waiting. How much longer is unclear, but this week is forecast to be dry and sunny with above-average temperatures and a smidgen of a chance for rain starting Friday.

The higher mountains of the San Juans had a slight chance of rain on Saturday, but the Durango area is looking to stay dry most of the week, Norv Larson, National Weather Service meteorologist in Grand Junction, said on Friday.

A trough of low atmospheric pressure is forecast to deepen over the eastern Pacific Ocean early next week that will generate southwest air flow and high clouds, but the Durango area won’t be impacted by the activity until Friday or later, he said.

Until then, residents should expect above-normal daylight temperatures in the low- to mid-60s, about 5 degrees above normal November temperatures in the area, with in-season nightly lows in the 20s.

“If you like mild fall weather, we’ve got the forecast for you,” Larson said. “However, if you’re looking for precipitation and you want to start putting snow on the hills, I can’t help you.”

European and Global Forecast System models show different outcomes for the weekend.

Larson said the GFS shows a low atmospheric trough over the northern Rocky Mountains and a deep closed low-pressure system moving off the East Coast, and moisture streams flowing southwest moving through the low-pressure system.

These conditions could impact the Durango area with lower temperatures, clouds and light showers at the end of the week, Larson said. But European models don’t show the trough over the Rockies at all, although they show moisture possible on Friday that will track right over Durango the rest of the weekend.

“They have some pretty profound differences,” Larson said. “... The fact that the models can’t seem to (reach) any agreement on that, look for some unsettled conditions at the end of the week, potentially lingering into the weekend. But don’t get hung up on details.”

He said if anything is certain, it’s that the Durango area will likely become cloudier through the weekend.

The forecast for December, January and February from the Climate Prediction Center bodes better for winter sports enthusiasts and hot drink aficionados, with a 60% chance for above-normal precipitation this winter and around normal temperatures, he said.

“Kind of pushing toward that being the higher chance but there’s still a strong chance it could go either way,” he said of moisture and temperatures for the winter.

Precipitation could be in store for Durango this weekend, but the timing and intensity of it remains muddled in weather models, he said.


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