Quick update… Tuesday – 12 Oct 2021 – 5:30pm

It started snowing heavily around 7:30am just north of Turkey Springs. We already have 0.5” to 1” of snow. Pic taken 10/12/2021 at 7:45am

It started snowing heavily around 7:30am just north of Turkey Springs. We already have 0.5” to 1” of snow. Web cams in town show snow falling but not sticking. Pic taken 10/12/2021 at 7:45am

Quick update… Tuesday – 12 Oct 2021 – 5:30pm

Temps cooled today into the upper 20s to mid-30s so most of the precip fell as snow. However, the snow had a hard time sticking on the warm ground and got more showery in the afternoon which limited accumulation. But this verifies my forecast nicely.

Wolf Creek Pass looks slick!  Note: The time is off one hour - it's 4:59pm
Wolf Creek Pass looks slick! Note: The time is off one hour – it’s 4:59pm
The next band of precip is moving into the area now ahead of the trough.  The trough will move through around midnight.
The next band of precip is moving into the area now ahead of the trough. The trough will move through around midnight.

I’ve seen a couple of reports in the 1.5″ range and one report from the Upper Piedra of 3″. Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 6″ by noon and it has been snowing pretty good much of the day. The Wolf Creek Summit snotel indicates 1.0″ of liquid equivalent and 12″ of snow on the ground at 2pm. I’d go with a 10:1 ratio and estimate closer to 10″.

How much snow did you get?

And tonight…

The upper level trough will move through around midnight giving us occasional snow until then. Snow will linger in the mountains through early morning hours. Lucky spots in the valley will get up to an inch of additional snow and the mountains will get another 3-6″.

*** There is still a Winter Weather Warning out for the mountains above 9,000ft until midnight. ***

The NWS 72hr snowfall shows less than an inch in the valley and up to 6" in the mountains.
The NWS 72hr snowfall shows less than an inch in the valley and up to 6″ in the mountains.

We’re getting out first thing tomorrow morning to play in the snow so my next post will be in the afternoon.

  • Shawn


Tuesday – 12 Oct 2021 – 8:45am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 61.  The low this morning was 40 at 2:15am and then we warmed to 48 by 6am and now it’s down to 37 at 8am. The peak wind at the airfield this morning is 33mph. We hit 35mph just north of Turkey Springs. Winds up at Wolf Creek have been in the 40-50mph range much of the night.

Precip in the last 24 hours was minimal.  That’s changing as I type.  I’ll do an update later today.

12 Oct 2021 am Wolf Creek Pass cam 1
It’s snowing heavily on Wolf Creek Pass with poor visibility, strong winds, and snow-covered roads. Note: The time is off by one hour – it’s 7:59am

Forecast discussion…

I see two rounds of precip today. The first band is moving through now and will last until around 11am.  Temps are dropping and precip has changed to snow for most of us. Temps are still above freezing and the ground is warm so snow will have trouble sticking. Poor visibility, strong winds, and slick spots will make driving tricky.

The second round of precip will be late afternoon into the evening as the low moves through southwest Colorado. Then skies will slowly clear overnight and temps will plummet.  When the mountains pop out  tomorrow morning, they’ll be beautiful!

Wednesday will be dry as the system moves off to our east.  Thursday a weak, fast moving trough will kick up a few a spotty showers.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be sunny with warmer temps as a ridge builds over the region.

Water vapor satellite this morning: The low is spinning over south-central UT and moving northeast.  Precip band 1 is moving through now, then there’s a dry slot, and then precip band 2 will move through this evening.
Water vapor satellite this morning: The low is spinning over south-central UT and moving northeast.  Precip band 1 is moving through now, then there’s a dry slot, and then precip band 2 will move through this evening.
Radar this morning: Radar lines up pretty good with satellite but doesn’t show all of the precip.  That’s normal with our poor radar coverage.
Radar this morning: Radar lines up pretty good with satellite but doesn’t show all of the precip.  That’s normal with our poor radar coverage.

My forecast…

Today… The first band of precip is moving through now and will last until around 11am and then another band will move through late this afternoon into the evening.   Showers will linger over the mountains into the early morning hours. Periods of heavy snow, poor visibility, and strong winds are likely.  There’s even a chance for spotty THUNDERSNOW!

Temps have dropped into the lower to upper 30 degree range will stay that way through the day. Tomorrow morning will be chilly with lows in the teens.

Winds will peak before noon in the 35-45mph range in the valley and 60-75mph range in the mountains.  Sadly this marks the end for our colorful aspen leaves.

My snow forecast…

Below 9,000ft: 1-3” – locations above 8,000ft will be towards the top of that range

Above 9,000ft: 8-14”

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains above 9,000ft valid from to 6pm Tuesday evening for 8-14” of snow with locally higher amounts on south facing peaks and winds gusting to 60mph. Expect poor driving conditions along Wolf Creek Pass all day! ***

The NWS 72hr snowfall forecast shows 1” in town and 2-3” for folks above 8,000ft.  It shows 10-15” for our mountains.
The NWS 72hr snowfall forecast shows 1” in town and 2-3” for folks above 8,000ft.  It shows 10-15” for our mountains.
The NWS snowfall forecast for the state
The NWS snowfall forecast for the state

Wednesday… Lots of blue sky and temps 15-20 degrees below average.  Highs will be mid-40s to around 50 and lows will be in the teens.

Thursday… There will be more clouds and spotty afternoon showers, especially over the mountains.  Highs will be in the mid-40s to lower 50s and lows will range from 10 to 20.  Winds will peak around 30mph.

Friday through Sunday… Back to glorious fall weather!  Expect lots of sun and chilly mornings. Friday will be the coolest with highs ranging from the upper 40s to mid-50s and then the weekend will be in the mid-50s to lower 60s.  Friday night lows will be lower teens to lower 20s and then the rest of the weekend they’ll be in the upper teens to upper 20s.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
6680 / 19912817 / 1913

*** CoCoRaHS observers, remember to remove the inner tube of your rain gauge, get your snowboards out, and have the ruler handy! ***

I’ll do a quick update later today and then my next post will be tomorrow afternoon.

– 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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