Sunday morning was less hectic for travelers in Southwest Colorado, after numerous crashes forced road closures during Saturday’s snowstorm, but another snowstorm is expected to hit Monday.
“We haven’t had anything serious since yesterday’s three-ring circus let up,” said La Plata County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Steve Reiter on Sunday morning. Durango Police Department Cpl. Chris Thompson also said no major crashes occurred in Durango on Sunday morning despite snowpacked roads that were icy in spots.
Scott Stearns, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said a smaller snowstorm is expected to hit Southwest Colorado on Monday, with snow beginning in the high country during the morning and moving into lower elevations in the late morning or early afternoon.
“It will be a quick mover,” he said. “Below 8,500 feet we expect you’ll see less than a half inch of accumulation. In the highest elevations of the San Juans, you might see maybe 4 inches,” he said.
The storm will bring in cold temperatures. Stearns said lows in the single digits should be expected during the nights in Durango and Cortez until late in the week.
Purgatory Resort is reporting 6 inches of snow in the past 24 hours and 8 inches in the past 48 hours with 22 trails and four of 11 lifts open. The base depth is 22 inches with 21% of the resort open.
Telluride ski area reports 8 inches of snow in the last 24 hours and 10 inches in the past 48 hours. It reports a base depth of 33 inches with 27 trails open and six of 17 lifts in operation.
Wolf Creek Ski Area reports 11 inches of snow in the past 24 hours, 21 inches in the past 48 hours, with a midway depth of 66 inches, and it reports the full mountain is open.
As of 11 a.m. Sunday, chains or alternative-traction devices were still required for commercial vehicles on U.S. Highway 550 on Red Mountain Pass and for all vehicles on U.S. Highway 491 from milepost 37 to 69.
On Saturday, several temporary road closures were required because of snowpacked and icy road conditions and vehicle crashes. Temporary road closures included U.S. Highway 550 from Farmington Hill to the New Mexico line and U.S. Highway 160 from east of Durango was closed Saturday morning after several crashes, including an eight car pileup. U.S. 160 was also closed temporarily at the Four Corners.
Also on Saturday afternoon, U.S. Highway 491 was temporarily closed near Dove Creek.