In anticipation of Tuesday night’s snow storm, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the San Juan Mountains, which calls for up to 2 feet of snow in the high country.
On Monday, the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said the winter storm watch will take effect late Tuesday night through Wednesday evening, carrying the chance of heavy snow and difficult travel conditions.
Total snow accumulations are expected to hit 8 to 16 inches in elevations above 8,500 feet, with localized amounts reaching two feet, the National Weather Service said.
Though the winter storm takes effect Tuesday night, the heaviest accumulations are expected Wednesday morning, bringing with it wind gusts as high as 35 mph, patchy and drifting snow.
As a result, motorists should expect messy commutes on Wednesday.
The storm system is expected to hit the northwest and southwest San Juan Mountains, including the towns of Hesperus and Silverton, as well as Telluride, Rico and Ouray.
The Grand and Battlement Mesas, West Elk and Sawatch Mountains are also included in the winter storm watch.
In Cortez, there’s a 50 percent chance of precipitation, mostly in the form of rain, Tuesday morning then throughout the day as temperatures are expected to remain in the low 50s.
After 11 p.m. Tuesday, there’s a 60 percent chance of rain, with lows around 30.
On Wednesday, rain and possibly a slight chance of snow is likely throughout the day, with a 70 percent chance of precipitation and a high in the mid-40s.
Thursday is forecast to return to clear skies and mild temperatures in the 40s.