A few snowflakes tonight and tomorrow and then lots of snowflakes Thursday night and Friday…

Another glorious sunrise captured on the Wolf Creek summit cam. Web cam capture on 12/6/2021

Another glorious sunrise captured on the Wolf Creek summit cam. Web cam capture on 12/6/2021

Monday – 6 Dec 2021 – 11:50am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 50 and the low this morning was 20. The cold spots were near 10. The peak wind at the airfield in the last 24 hours was 8mph.

There was no precip in the last 24 hours.

Forecast discussion…

A system will move through Colorado tonight and tomorrow.  Unfortunately there are 3 things working against us: 1. It’s a weak system and will continue to weaken as it moves through. 2. There won’t be much moisture when it moves through our area.  3. The northwest trajectory is not our friend. Our beautiful San Juan Mountains will keep the moisture and precip on the other side.

Wednesday is an in-between day.  Clouds will be in and out and the spotty showers will persist especially later in the day over the mountains.

All eyes are on the second half of Thursday through Friday night.  The ingredients are lining up for a decent snowstorm!

This weekend looks clear and cold as ridging builds back into the region.

Water vapor satellite this morning: There are a bunch of high cirrus clouds spilling over the flattening ridge. The high pressure will move west and the low will slide south along the coast.
Water vapor satellite this morning: There are a bunch of high cirrus clouds spilling over the flattening ridge. The high pressure will move west and the low will slide south along the coast.

My forecast…

This afternoon… We’ll have quite a few high clouds. Highs will range from the mid-40s to low-50s. Winds will stay under 20mph.

This evening through tomorrow afternoon… There will be more clouds and spotty snowshowers. The best chance for snow is roughly 10pm this evening to 10am tomorrow morning. Lows tonight will be in the upper teens to mid-20s and highs tomorrow afternoon will be in the upper 30s to mid-40s.

Snow amounts…

– Valley: a dusting to 1”

– Mountains: 1-3”

The NWS snowfall forecast shows 0.3” for Pagosa and 1-2” in the mountains.  Note the higher amounts near Telluride, Silverton, and Ouray where a Winter Weather Advisory is out for 4-8” of snow.
The NWS snowfall forecast shows 0.3” for Pagosa and 1-2” in the mountains.  Note the higher amounts near Telluride, Silverton, and Ouray where a Winter Weather Advisory is out for 4-8” of snow.

Tuesday night through Thursday morning… Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy.  Expect spotty snowshowers to persist, especially Wednesday afternoon and evening over the mountains where an inch or two of snow is possible. High temps Wednesday afternoon will be in the upper 30s to mid-40s and lows will be in the upper teens to mid-20s.

Thursday afternoon through Friday night… Do those snow dances! The heaviest snow is possible Thursday evening through Friday morning with scattered showers on either side of this time period. Snow levels Thursday afternoon will start around 7,500ft and will then drop after sunset.

Highs on Friday will be in the mid-30s to lower 40s. Low temps Friday night will be -5 to 10. Winds will peak around 20mph Thursday afternoon and then around 25mph Friday.  Winds in the high country will peak around 50mph Thursday night and Friday.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 5-10”

Mountains: 12-20”

I’ll tweak the details as the data gets better.

For folks thinking about Wolf Creek… Friday will be a “storm day”, especially the first half of the day.  Expect poor visibility, heavy snow, and strong winds. Saturday will be chilly but otherwise, pretty sweet.

The NBM snowfall through Saturday at 5am shows up to 10” in the valley and up to 18” in the mountains. This represents a good average of the various forecast models and looks like a good call.
The NBM snowfall through Saturday at 5am shows up to 10” in the valley and up to 18” in the mountains. This represents a good average of the various forecast models and looks like a good call.
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek: This is one of my favorite products. The GFS average has dropped from 35” yesterday to 26” today. I eliminate the 3 or 4 most overzealous models and that decreases the average to 24”.  The Canadian model average is around 19” which is more in line with the other models and closer to what I expect at this point.
The University of Utah GFS and Canadian model ensemble snowfall for Wolf Creek: This is one of my favorite products. The GFS average has dropped from 35” yesterday to 26” today. I eliminate the 3 or 4 most overzealous models and that decreases the average to 24”.  The Canadian model average is around 19” which is more in line with the other models and closer to what I expect at this point.

Saturday and Sunday… We’ll see lots of sun and below average temps.  Highs Saturday will be in the 30s and lows that night will be -10 to 5. Highs Sunday will be a little warmer in the upper 30s to mid-40s and lows will be -5 to 10.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4269 / 19068-19 / 1953

For those of you who like to “hear” our forecast, we are experimenting with a “dial up and text” forecast. Call 877-841-0247 and give it a try!

With two systems moving through this week, I plan to do posts every day. My next one will be tomorrow morning.

– 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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