More snow tomorrow…

Monday – 15 Mar 2021 – 3:00pm

Overall situation…

Upper level southwest flow pushed quite a few clouds and a couple of weak mountain showers into our region today.  The upper level low will move through northern New Mexico tomorrow and bring us some precip. Ridging will then keep us dry Wednesday through much of Saturday.  Then the next system will impact us Saturday night through Monday. It’s too early to get into details on that one.

15 Mar 2021 pm Water vapor
Water vapor shows a band of clouds moving into our area from the southwest right now.  That band will push to the east, then clouds will scatter as the dry slot moves in, and then clouds will increase again before sunrise ahead of the system.

My forecast…

Tonight…  Clouds will be in and out.  Snowshowers will develop over the mountains in the early morning hours and over the valley around sunrise.  Wolf Creek could get an inch by opening.  Lows will be low teens to around 20.

Tomorrow… Expect mostly cloudy skies, a good chance for snowshowers, and even a possible thunderstorm. The best chance for precip will be late morning to evening.  Snowshowers will end by midnight and clouds will clear overnight.  Patchy fog is possible in the low lying areas after midnight.  Highs will be upper 30s to low 40s and lows will be 5-15. Winds will peak around 25mph.

Snow amounts:

– 0-2” in the valley. It will be heavy wet snow that will struggle to accumulate.

– 4-8” in the mountains

15 Mar 2021 pm NWS 72hr snowfall
The NWS 72-hour snowfall shows a dusting to 1” across the valley and 7” at Wolf Creek. Temps above freezing will make it difficult for the snow to accumulate in the valley.

Wednesday through most of Saturday…Partly cloudy skies and dry.  Highs Wednesday will be mid to upper 40s and then lower to upper 50s the rest of the period.

Pagosa Springs Climatology

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4762 / 195514-21 / 1913

I’ll do another post tomorrow morning.

– Shawn

15 Mar 2021 pm UoU ensemble snowfall
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek shows 8-10” with tomorrow’s system. At the end of the period, the models are fluctuating considerably with the next system.

End of post


Monday – 15 Mar 2021 – 8:30am

Two-day storm totals in our area ranged from 2” near town to around 12” in Chromo and Chama to 16” in the upper Blanco.  Wolf Creek reported 9” in the last 24 hours and 24” for storm total. 

The Front Range got hammered.  DIA reported a 27.1” storm total making this the 4th snowiest storm on record.  On CoCoRaHS I see a lot of 18-24” storm total reports from Castle Rock to Fort Collins.  The highest reports are in the 30-38” range in the foothills.

15 Mar 2021 am CoCoRaHS for Front Range
Two-day snow totals from Castle Rock to Fort Collins

Below are the “before and after” snowpack maps.  The Arkansas River basin jumped 10% and the North and South Platte basins jumped 11%.  That’s very impressive for a 2-day period this late in the season!

15 Mar 2021 am snowpack maps 2
Impressive jump for some of the basins in just a two-day period this late in the year!

As of today, the Upper San Juan snotel is at 94% and the Wolf Creek Summit snotel is at 106%.  Wolf Creek Ski Area has measured 328” year to date.

Skies will be partly cloudy today.  Wind prone areas will get gusts to 25mph this afternoon.

Highs will be in the low to mid-40s. Clouds will increase later today ahead tomorrow’s system.

Up at Wolf Creek, along the top, temps will range from the low teens this morning to the low 20s this afternoon.  Afternoon winds will peak around 30mph and there could be a brief snowshower, but I don’t expect any accumulation.  More snow is on the way tomorrow.

I’ll do a more thorough post later today.

– Shawn

25b 15 Mar 2021

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I’ve been a “weather geek” since I was young child. I joined the military out of high school and was lucky to get my dream job in weather. I have 20 years of military weather experience which includes forecasting the weather all over the world. Highlights were six years in Alaska and making life and death weather decisions during deployments. I love mountains, I love snow, and I love summertime thunderstorms. I spend a bunch of time playing outdoors and found my paradise in Pagosa Springs. I do Pagosa Weather as a community service. Hopefully you find us helpful!
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