Spotty showers today and then more widespread tomorrow and Friday…

A spot of sun lightning up fall colors between storm clouds.  Pic taken 9/28/2021

A spot of sun lights up fall colors between storm clouds.  Pic taken 9/28/2021

Wednesday – 29 Sep 2021 – 9:30am

Overall situation…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 64 and the low this morning was 42. The peak wind at the airfield was 23mph. 

Yesterday’s precip was disappointing.  The mountains in the eastern part of the county saw the best action.  A band of showers moved through around 3am and gave some of us a little rain.  In the high country, temps have stayed steady so it’s likely another dusting of snow fell above 12,500ft.

CoCoRaHS 24 hour precip reports vary from 0.01” to 0.12” across Archuleta County.
CoCoRaHS 24 hour precip reports vary from 0.01” to 0.12” across Archuleta County.
NWS mesonet 24 hour precip in Archuleta County varied from 0.01” to 0.17”. It looks like the Archuleta County rain shield was working yesterday with higher amounts in eastern La Plata County and around Chama.
NWS mesonet 24 hour precip in Archuleta County varied from 0.01” to 0.17”. It looks like the Archuleta County rain shield was working yesterday with higher amounts in eastern La Plata County and around Chama. 

Today an upper level trough will move through with less moisture, but instability will still be high, so we’ll see another round of spotty afternoon showers and thunderstorms. 

Thursday a closed low will develop over UT and then will move nearly over our head on Friday. There is plenty of moisture and lift for widespread showers and a few thunderstorms.

This weekend ridging will build over the area and will give us glorious fall weather!

Water vapor satellite overlaid with infrared this morning: The upper level trough will move through today and kick up a few showers and thunderstorms.  Then a closed low will form over UT and track nearly over our head Friday.
Water vapor satellite overlaid with infrared this morning: The upper level trough will move through today and kick up a few showers and thunderstorms.  Then a closed low will form over UT and track nearly over our head Friday.
Radar this morning: Shower activity is currently to our northwest, on the other side of the mountains, and moving southwest to northeast.
Radar this morning: Shower activity is currently to our northwest, on the other side of the mountains, and moving southwest to northeast. 

My forecast…

Today through Friday… We’ll see variable clouds with scattered showers and thunderstorms.  Precip will be spotty today and then more widespread late tomorrow afternoon into the evening and then ramp again Friday afternoon.  Patchy morning fog is likely. 

The snow level will drop to 11,500ft tonight and then to 11,000ft Friday night.   By late Friday I expect 4-8” of snow above 12,000ft and 1-3” above 11,000ft. A few wet snowflakes could fall on Wolf Creek Pass Friday night, but I don’t expect any accumulation on the road. With temps at or slightly below freezing, be leery of slick spots Friday night and Saturday morning.

Winds will peak around 20mph, though convective gusts to 35mph near showers and thunderstorms are possible.

Highs will be in the upper 50s to mid-60s and lows will be in the low 30s to low 40s.

NWS 72hr precip through Saturday at 6am shows 0.50” in town and up to 1.25” in the mountains.
NWS 72hr precip through Saturday at 6am shows 0.50” in town and up to 1.25” in the mountains.
NWS 72hr snow through Saturday at 6am shows 4-6” above timberline.
NWS 72hr snow through Saturday at 6am shows 4-6” above timberline.
Euro snow through Friday at midnight shows up to 8” above timberline.
Euro snow through Friday at midnight shows up to 8” above timberline.

Saturday and Sunday… There will be a few spotty afternoon showers, mostly over the mountains, but we’ll see lots of sun and pleasant fall temps. Highs will be in the mid-60s to around 70 and lows will be in the upper 20s to upper 30s.

Get out early Saturday to see fall colors back-dropped by snow-covered peaks!

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
7083 / 19573220 / 1908
Snow was falling on Red Mountain Pass, just over 11,000ft elevation, Wednesday morning.  Wolf Creek Pass could look like this on Friday!
Snow was falling on Red Mountain Pass, just over 11,000ft elevation, Wednesday morning. Wolf Creek Pass could look like this on Friday!

My next post will be tomorrow.

– Shawn

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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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