Snow news is good news for dry region

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Gary Holaday takes advantage of the small amount of snow that fell Friday morning to burn his pile of tree limbs on his farm on Road 25. He said he's been waiting for moisture since September to burn. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Gary Holaday takes advantage of the small amount of snow that fell Friday morning to burn his pile of tree limbs on his farm on Road 25. He said he's been waiting for moisture since September to burn.

The bad news is that it's unlikely to be a big storm

By Michael Maresh

Journal Staff Writer

The National Weather Service and a local meteorologist are predicting that Cortez and Montezuma County will receive its first significant amount of snow this weekend.

Meteorologist Jim Andrus said the weather pattern is changing with a low pressure trough moving into the area.

Storms in Southern California traveled east to Arizona to central and northern New Mexico before moving into the Four Corners area.

Snow was on the ground Friday afternoon.

Andrus said the Cortez area could see three to five inches of snow by late Friday afternoon.

The National Weather Service predicted up to three inches of snow could hit the area overnight.

The forecast predicted that Cortez would be caught in a range shadow and the weather would travel northwest to Cortez from Mesa Verde.

According to the National Weather Service, there was a 90 percent chance of rain and snow on Friday and an 80 percent chance of snow last night.

The NWS is predicting a 30 percent chance of snow today and a 20 percent chance of snow on Sunday before decreasing to 10 percent Sunday night.

"It will be a weekend event," Andrus said.

He said Sunday's forecast of 20 percent, though, is not an optimistic number for measurable snowfall and expects the region to instead only receive snow flurries.

The snow is expected to be gone by Monday with temperatures increasing to 37 with cloudy skies, Tuesday and Wednesday reaching 39 and 40 degrees, respectively, with mostly cloudy skies.

The weather pattern this year is similar to last year. The first major storm of last winter occurred in mid-January.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com