processed by IntelliTune on 08112012   152028with script _New - Normal- CTP
processed by IntelliTune on 08112012 152028 with script _New - Normal- CTP
FARMINGTON — San Juan County could see its first snowflakes of the season with a wintry storm arriving.

The storm is squarely on target for the Farmington area and is due to arrive today, bringing rain, snow and much colder temperatures.

About half an inch of snow could accumulate Saturday night and Sunday morning, said Jason Frazier, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Albuquerque.

"That coincides with getting the really cold temperatures finally with the residual moisture from this storm," he said.

Most of the precipitation will hit along the New Mexico-Colorado border and into southern Colorado, he said.

"That'll be the primary focus," Frazier said. "The high-elevation mountain ranges will be hit a lot harder as well."

High temperatures in Farmington are expected to fall to 45 degrees on Saturday and 39 on Sunday after a long stretch of November days in the 60s. Lows are forecast to drop to 39 degrees tonight, 24 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday night before rebounding Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast seems not to have registered with local drivers yet, said Cameron Collier, manager at Big O Tires in Farmington.

"I don't really think people are expecting that type of weather just yet," he said. "We haven't even had anyone ask about snow tires this year. The oil field guys, they're not even coming in for mud tires yet."

Often, buyers come in for snow tires in a rush.

"I think it'll be a last-minute type of situation," Frazier said.


The area's golf courses could see their first closures of the season. Pi-on Hills, Riverview and San Juan Country Club courses stay open year-round, weather permitting, but won't open with snow on the ground.

For Southwest Colorado's ski resorts, the storm could provide a base for the winter. The storm is forecast to bring one to three inches of snow an hour over the San Juan Mountains during its height Friday night and Saturday morning.

Durango Mountain Resort told its Twitter followers that up to 20 inches is possible by Saturday night.

"We're anticipating good moisture, and we're already starting snowmaking," spokeswoman Kim Oyler said. "The colder temperatures and the additional help from Mother Nature will provide us with a base for this winter."

Durango Mountain Resort plans to open Nov. 23, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Roads could turn treacherous with icy and snow-packed surfaces and areas of blowing and drifting snow. A winter weather advisory has been issued for the Durango, Colo., area from midnight tonight to noon Saturday. Snow accumulations of three to six inches are expected in Durango.

The storm is expected to clear out of the area Sunday afternoon with sunny skies and warmer temperatures early next week before another storm is expected to arrive late next week.