Forecaster: Sunday snowstorm may leave little behind in Farmington, Durango

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – While parts of Colorado and the Plains region to the east may get slammed with snow at near record levels Sunday, forecasters at AccuWeather say the Farmington region should just see a bit of snow that will melt away as temperatures rise well above freezing and westerly winds pick up.

Snow showers occurred Saturday in Farmington with an overnight accumulation of half an inch expected, according to the National Weather Service. 

For much of the nation the big show is expected to happen Sunday as a major storm leaves several inches in some areas and as much as several feet of snow in parts of Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota.

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This AccuWeather map shows the area expected to be affected Sunday by a major winter storm expected to leave just an inch or so of snow in the Farmington area.

“Regarding the forecast for Sunday in the Farmington area, snow does appear likely to fall for a time during the first half of the morning, though it appears that overall snow amounts will be relatively minor,” according to Meteorologist Randy Adkins of AccuWeather’s Forecasting Department.

“Most locations in/around Farmington will only receive a fresh coating to perhaps 1 inch of accumulation,” Adkins said Saturday via email. “While there is some potential for higher totals across the high-ground west of La Plata, the likely upper-limit for accumulations appears to be about 2-3 inches.”

But don’t expect the snow to stick around for long.

“Regardless of how much snow occurs, temperatures are set to rise well above freezing later Sunday – in fact, our current forecast high is 47 degrees, so any snow that does accumulate early in the day will melt away in the afternoon,” Adkins said. 

Adkins warned that “winds are a bigger issue through the day Sunday with westerly wind gusts of 40-50 mph expected.”

Durango has similar forecast

Durango isn't expected to see a lot of snow, either.

"Total snow amounts there will likely be on the order of a fresh coating to 1 inch, owing to the downsloping effect off the Rockies," Adkins said. "Temperatures (in Durango) are also forecast to rise well above freezing, likely topping out around 42° Sunday afternoon."

Adkins noted that Hesperus could pick up between 2-4" inches of snow on Sunday and "the higher peaks north of US 160 will do the best on Sunday with snow totals during the day of 4-8 inches likely."

AccuWeather also warned of possible flight delays at Denver and other airports in the storm’s path Sunday.

The National Weather Service Saturday forecasted winds of 35 mph could arrive on Sunday with gusts up to 50 mph.

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A sudden snow shower begins to cover a hillside near E. 30th Street in Farmington Saturday around 3:15 p.m. More snow is forecast overnight and early Sunday, but rising temps may melt it away Sunday afternoon.

Showery Saturday

Rain showers turning to snow were possible Saturday afternoon with an overnight low of 29, according to the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office. There was a 40 percent chance of showers through the afternoon and mostly cloudy skies with a high near 44 and wind from the west wind at about 15 mph through Saturday night.

Also on Saturday NWS forecasts a slight chance of rain showers before 9 p.m., "then a chance of snow showers... Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible."

The region remained on a NWS Winter Weather Advisory Saturday until 11 p.m. 

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e