A fast-moving winter storm in Southwest Colorado came and went early Thursday, leaving a fresh layer of snow in the high country and bringing mostly a rain/snow mixture in lower elevations.
Tom Renwick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a winter weather advisory called for 6 to 10 inches in the high country of the San Juan Mountains, and that’s just about what fell.
Telluride reportedly received 5 inches or so, Coal Bank and Red Mountain passes received 7 inches and Molas Pass got 8 inches, Renwick said.
“That’s kind of what we expected,” Renwick said.
Purgatory Resort reported 4 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours, while Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 7 new inches.
The Cortez area received less than an inch of snow, which created slushy and slick driving conditions on U.S. Highway 160 through midmorning Thursday. In areas around Durango and Pagosa Springs, moisture fell as a snow/rain mix, and did not appear to accumulate, Renwick said.
By Thursday afternoon, the storm had just about moved out of the region and shifted north toward areas around Vail and Steamboat Springs, he said.
“It’s breaking up,” Renwick said. “That’s probably going to be it.”
As of 11 a.m. Thursday, only Coal Bank and Molas passes had chain and traction laws in effect.
After Thursday’s storm, weather is expected to return to sunny and dry conditions. The high temperature this weekend is expected to be 55 degrees on Saturday and 59 degrees on Sunday.
The National Weather Service says temperatures could reach 61 degrees in Durango on Monday.
Renwick said forecasting models show the next chance for precipitation could be next Wednesday or Thursday. While models show it could be a significant storm, Renwick said it’s too far out to make any calls.
“Things can change drastically when it’s that far out,” he said.