Snow flurries encourage skiers

Purgatory to stay open an extra weekend

Snow was flying Saturday at Durango Mountain Resort, which announced that Purgatory will be open for an extra weekend, April 5-7. Daily operations will continue through next weekend. Enlargephoto

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Snow was flying Saturday at Durango Mountain Resort, which announced that Purgatory will be open for an extra weekend, April 5-7. Daily operations will continue through next weekend.

Light snows Thursday and Saturday and this weekend’s cooler temperatures mean Durango Mountain Resort is keeping Purgatory open an extra weekend, with closing day now set for April 7.

Purgatory originally was slated to end its season next Sunday, and daily operations will end then, spokeswoman Kim Oyler said. That day, DMR will host a beach party sponsored by Ska Brewing Co. and featuring music by Ralph Dinosaur.

There were traces of new snow on the mountain Saturday morning, and it was continuing into the early afternoon, Oyler said.

She said special discounts will be in effect during the extra weekend. Adult lift tickets April 5 to 7 will be $59, senior citizens will be $50, young adults $47 and tickets for kids will be $35. All season passes will be accepted those extra days, including the weekday-only passes, Oyler said.

The weekend’s weather included some record-low temperatures in Southwest Colorado, said meteorologist Travis Booth with the National Weather Service.

“Temperatures are about 20 degrees below normal,” Booth said in an interview Saturday.

Normal average highs this time of year are around 54 degrees, with lows in the 30s, Booth said. But this weekend saw lows around 10 and highs around 30.

Booth also said there would be only an inch or two of snow in the San Juans, with isolated snow showers around the Durango area.

The storm that dropped occasional snow on Durango before the weekend left a few inches of snow in the central Rockies and hit Colorado’s Eastern Plains much harder, causing accidents and closing roads, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported.

Portions of Interstate 70 between Denver and the Kansas border as well as westbound into the mountains were closed either for weather or weather-related accidents. Portions of Interstate 25 also were closed for weather-related reasons, CDOT said.

Temperatures will be warming up and the atmosphere drying out as the week progresses, Booth said. There is the possibility of some unsettled weather for Easter weekend.

Booth said the Climate Prediction Center expects warmer and drier weather for April through June.

rgalin@durangoherald.com