Cuchara, Colorado, buried under 3 feet of snow on Dec 9, 2008. Looks like they might have a white Christmas! Photos: courtesy Steve Perkins.
The small resort town of Cuchara, Colorado, along the Highway of Legends in the Spanish Peaks Region of Southeast Colorado, is frequently the recipient of heavy snowfall from winter storms that hit Southeast Colorado. Today was no exception, as the Upper Cucharas River Valley received from 2-3 feet of snow from a fast moving but powerful storm that moved in late Monday and left the state Tuesday afternoon. The photos above, from a National Weather Service Spotter, show the effects of 34 inches of new snow on Cuchara, and it was still snowing ths morning! While many areas in Southeast Colorado received over a foot of snow (nearby La Veta, Colorado, got nearly 20 inches) from this storm, the geography of the Cucharas Valley contributed to extreme snowfall in a small area, as the below snowfall graphic depicts. Northeast winds of over 30 mph funneled abundant moisture up the Valley, and this moisture condensed and fell as snow. If recent Computer Forecasts are to be believed, Cuchara is in for a lot more snow over the coming weeks, with several storms lined up in the Pacific, ready to bring more snow to the mountains of Colorado!
Snowfall Graphic for Southeast Colorado for Dec 9, 2008, showing the "bullseye" of heavy snow over Cuchara. The graphic is based on spotter reports and is "smoothed" by computer algorithm, so it may not accurately represent exact snowfall in some locations.