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Up to 12 inches of snow forecast for San Juan Mountains

In Montezuma County, expect rain by day, snow by night
Durango Herald file<br><br>La Plata and Montezuma counties are now in an “exceptional drought.”

A winter advisory is in effect for the southwest San Juan Mountains from 9 p.m. today through midnight Wednesday above 9,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Five to 10 inches of snow is expected, with up to 12 inches at higher elevations.

Towns include Rico, Silverton and Telluride. Expect slippery roads and reduced visibility on Wednesday morning, the weather service said.

A winter advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely, the weather service said, adding that there’s a 70 percent chance of precipitation tonight, a 60 percent chance on Wednesday and a 20 percent chance on Thursday.

In Montezuma County, scattered rain showers are expected after 5 p.m. today. Snow is expected after 2 a.m. Wednesday, followed by rain after 8 a.m. and more snow after 10 p.m. High temperatures are expected to reach 58 on Tuesday, 51 on Wednesday and 57 on Thursday. Overnight lows are expected to be in the mid-30s.

The forecast provides a bit of hope to the dry Four Corners area.

Southwest Colorado is in “exceptional drought,” the most critical of five levels of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Snowpack in the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins is 16 percent of normal, according to Snotel data as of April 30. The short-term weather outlook for Montezuma County remains bleak, with lower-than-normal precipitation and higher-than-normal temperatures through June.

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