A spring storm is expected to dump 5 to 10 inches of snow in the high country of Southwest Colorado this weekend.
A winter weather advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday above 9,500 feet elevation, and total snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are forecast for the northwest and southwest San Juan Mountains.
Travel may be difficult, especially over the high mountain passes, the National Weather Service said.
Erin Walter, a meteorologist with the weather service in Grand Junction, said Friday night into Saturday should remain clear, but with temperatures dipping below freezing. Snow might not stick in lower elevations because of warmer temperatures.
Walter said the storm is a result of the low-pressure system that moved through the region Thursday, swinging back around as a secondary low, which is on track to favor the San Juan Mountains.
“The San Juans look like they’ll do the best with this system,” she said. “You guys getting into action with this storm is definitely helpful for water for the spring and summer.”
Indeed, snowpack in Southwest Colorado has been melting at a fast rate.
At the end of February, snowpack levels were approaching historic averages, topping out at nearly 90% of normal. As of Friday, however, snowpack had fallen to just 61% of average.
In Montezuma County, clouds should increase Friday night, with an overnight low of 31 degrees and a northwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Northeast winds are expected after midnight.
On Saturday, there will be a 50% chance of snow showers before 1 p.m., then a chance of rain showers. Some thunder is possible, the weather service said. Less than a half-inch of snow is expected at lower elevations.
On Sunday, there will be a 20% chance of snow before noon, then a slight chance of rain showers. Skies will be mostly sunny, the weather service said, with a daytime high of 54 degrees and an west wind in the afternoon.
Skies are expected to clear Sunday night, with a low around 29.
An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely.
Jonathan Romeo of The Durango Herald contributed to this article.