Significant winter weather begins today

According to the Archuleta County Office of Emergency Management, significant winter weather is expected across the Four Corners valleys tonight through noon Tuesday. Heavy, wet snow is expected across mountain locations in western Colorado today through Tuesday.

A band of very heavy snow is expected to set up over the Four Corners valleys tonight including Archuleta, Montezuma and La Plata counties in Colorado. This corridor includes Pagosa Springs, Bluff, Cortez, Durango and all areas in between.

The greatest impact from the storm will be tonight through noon Tuesday.

Moderate snow is expected to begin around 10 p.m. this evening. The heaviest snow is expected around daybreak Tuesday morning, with snow rates potentially reaching 2-3 inches per hour.

Some rain may be mixed in below 6,000 feet initially, but is expected to transition to snow by morning.

An approaching cold front will begin to impact the forecast area today, bringing the potential for heavy, wet snow and making travel difficult.

A sliver of subtropical moisture will reach the Four Corners tonight and is anticipated to bring a half inch or more of precipitation in the form of snow and/or rain in lower locations to the region. This is expected to be localized to the southern San Juans and the valleys south of the mountains along the Colorado/Utah/New Mexico/Arizona border. Total snowfall through Tuesday morning is expected to be 12-18 inches in the San Juan Mountains with locally higher amounts expected.

The Four Corners valleys of southwest Colorado will likely see 4-8 inches of very wet snow above 6,000 feet, but the potential is there for even higher amounts if a heavy snow band sets up. Other mountain locations in western Colorado will also receive snow ranging between 4-10 inches, with very strong winds at times above 10,000 feet.

The forecast confidence is high for heavy snow, with moderate confidence on the rain/snow line.

This story was posted on February 27, 2017.