A little snow later today, more tomorrow, and more next week…

Frosty is ready for the snow! Pic taken 12/8/2021

Frosty is ready for the snow! Pic taken 12/8/2021

Wednesday – 8 Dec 2021 – 9:45am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 40 and the low this morning was 22. The cold spots dipped into the mid-teens. The peak wind at the airfield in the last 24 hours was 10mph.

24-hour precip… No measurable precip fell in the valley. Wolf Creek reported a total of 2” and just a few flakes fell up there yesterday.

Forecast discussion…

A little short-wave trough will move over our heads tonight and bring us a little bit of snow.

The ingredients are lined for good snow Thursday night into Friday morning: Strong jet stream overhead out of the southwest; tons of moisture; a strong cold front with the associated cold air advection; and strong storm energy.

Saturday through Monday will be dry as transient ridging builds back into the region.

Tuesday and Wednesday another low pressure system will move through.  Timing and snow amounts are fluctuating considerably but it looks promising.

The NWS has issued Winter Weather Watches for all of the mountains in western Colorado. The watches will be upgraded to warnings and advisories will be issued for the valley as the storm gets closer.
The NWS has issued Winter Weather Watches for all of the mountains in western Colorado. The watches will be upgraded to warnings and advisories will be issued for the valley as the storm gets closer.
Water vapor satellite this morning:  The little trough to the west will move through tonight and bring us a little bit of snow. Tomorrow’s system will develop rapidly along the jet stream moving across CA.
Water vapor satellite this morning:  The little trough to the west will move through tonight and bring us a little bit of snow. Tomorrow’s system will develop rapidly along the jet stream moving across CA.

My forecast…

This afternoon through tomorrow morning… Snow showers are already developing over our western mountains and they will progress eastward by noon. Scattered snowshowers will increase by late afternoon and into the evening, especially over the mountains. The snow level will pop up to 7,500ft this afternoon and then drop after sunset. High temps this afternoon will be in the upper 30s to mid-40s and lows will be in the 20s tonight.

Snow amounts…

Valley: 1-2”

Mountains: 3-6”

Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon… Do those snow dances! The heaviest snow will fall Thursday evening to Friday around sunrise 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 -10 to 5. Winds will peak in the 20-25mph range Thursday afternoon and then 25-30mph Thursday night and Friday.  Winds in the high country will peak around 50mph Thursday night and Friday morning.

*** The Pueblo NWS has issued a Winter Weather Watch for the Eastern San Juan Mountains above 10,000ft, which includes Wolf Creek Pass. 1-3 feet of snow and 50mph winds are expected from late Wednesday evening to late Friday afternoon. *** As the system nears, this watch will be upgraded to a warning, and I expect a winter weather advisory to be issued for the valley.

Snow amounts…

Valley below 7,500ft: 6-8”

Valley above 7,500ft: 8-12”

Mountains: 18-24”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Wolf Creek Pass gets closed for a brief period Thursday night or Friday morning.

The NWS snowfall to Friday at 11pm shows 6-8” in Pagosa and up to 24” up at Wolf Creek.
The NWS snowfall to Friday at 11pm shows 6-8” in Pagosa and up to 24” up at Wolf Creek.

Saturday through Monday… We’ll see lots of sun and below average temps.  Highs Saturday will be in the upper 20s to mid-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. Monday temps will be a few degrees warmer.

Tuesday and Wednesday… There will be more clouds and more snow.  I’ll do “first guess” snow totals in tomorrow’s post.

Euro model 24-hour snowfall Tuesday night to Wednesday night shows 6-12” in the mountains and 2-5” in the valley.
Euro model 24-hour snowfall Tuesday night to Wednesday night shows 6-12” in the mountains and 2-5” in the valley.
GFS model 24-hour snowfall Tuesday night to Wednesday night shows 16-24” in the mountains and 1-4” in the valley.
GFS model 24-hour snowfall Tuesday night to Wednesday night shows 16-24” in the mountains and 1-4” in the valley.

The forecast models are fluctuating considerably on timing and snow amounts so forecast confidence is low at this point. I’ll do a “first guess” on snow totals in tomorrow’s post.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4256 / 19818-19 / 1909

Call 877-841-0247 for our “dial up and text” forecast.

I’ll continue to do posts every day through Saturday morning. 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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