Rain and mountain snow move in late tonight

Rain and mountain snow will increase across the Western Slope tonight and continue into Thursday.
Rain and mountain snow will increase across the Western Slope tonight and continue into Thursday.(KKCO, KJCT)
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 11:38 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Clouds are on the increase across the Western Slope today, then widespread rain and mountain snow falls over the region late tonight and through Thursday.

Rain and Snow Moving In

The day started off with sunshine, but clouds have been on the increase over the region this morning. Clouds will continue to increase through lunchtime, then we’ll start seeing spotty to scattered showers popping up mostly over the higher terrain through the afternoon. Best rain chances will be in the mountains, but a quick shower or two cannot be ruled out in Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, and some of the other lower elevation locations. Rain will continue to mostly stay in the higher elevations through midnight, then rain and mountain snow starts to become more widespread across the region before sunrise Thursday morning. Your morning commute will likely be a wet one in Grand Junction, Delta, and Montrose while snow will be coming down over the Book Cliffs, the Grand Mesa, the High Country, the Uncompahgre Plateau, and the San Juan Mountains. Rain and mountain snow continues through the rest of Thursday morning, then drier air starts filtering in and bringing much of the rain and snow to an end between 2 PM and 4 PM Thursday afternoon. Some spotty rain and snow could linger around in a couple of locations, but most of us should start drying out with partly to mostly cloudy skies.

Snowfall Totals

Expected snowfall totals have come down quite a bit since yesterday morning, and most of the major population centers across the higher elevations should see between a trace to 2 inches of snow with locally heavier amounts. Some of the higher elevations above 10,000 feet could see as much as 6 to 10 inches of snow. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for those locations above 10,000 feet until midnight Thursday night. Telluride and surrounding locations in the San Juan Mountains could see up to 9 to 12 inches of snow.

River Flooding

Warmer temperatures earlier this week and rain and snow to close out the week will once again increase river flooding concerns around the Western Slope. The Dolores River near Cisco, Utah is already in minor flood stage at 14.5 feet, and multiple crests into moderate flood stage are possible through the end of the week as well as next week. The Yampa River near Deerlodge Park and Dinosaur National Monument is currently well below flood stage, but river levels are expected to rise to minor flood stage levels at 14.32 feet by this weekend. Elkhead Creek near Hayden is just below action stage, but multiple crests into action and minor flood stage are possible over the next several days. The Elk River near Milner is just below action stage, but is expected to rise into action stage and crest at minor flood stage at 7.81 feet early Friday morning.

Flood Alerts

A Flood Warning is in effect for the Dolores River, including Gateway and Highway 141 until 6 PM Saturday.

A Flood Advisory is in effect for the Dolores River and the San Miguel River, including Naturita, Slick Rock, Bedrock, and Uravan until 6 PM Saturday.

A Flood Watch is in effect for the Yampa River basin, including Rangely, Dinosaur, Craig, Hayden, and Meeker from 6 PM Friday to noon on Monday.

A Flood Warning is in effect for Elkhead Creek until 9 AM Friday.

A Flood Warning is in effect for the Elk River until noon on Saturday.

More Rain Chances

Additional smaller chances for rain and mountain snow are possible on Friday and Saturday, then better rain chances return to the region again on Sunday and Monday. We should start to turn drier, but additional small rain chances are possible on Tuesday.

Next 24 Hours

Cloudy to mostly cloudy skies continue through the rest of the day with spotty higher elevation showers around Grand Junction, Delta, and Montrose. We should stay mostly dry with highs in the middle 70s. Rain will start to increase likely after midnight tonight and into your morning commute with lows in the middle to upper 40s. Rain continues through around 2 PM Thursday afternoon, then skies start to clear out through the rest of the day with highs in the lower to middle 60s.