Time to shovel out…

It’s great waking up to a winter wonderland! Pic taken 12/10/2021

It’s great waking up to a winter wonderland! Pic taken 12/10/2021

Friday – 10 Dec 2021 – 9:15am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high yesterday was 35. The airfield weather sensor has been off-line since 1:50am. Temps on Weather Underground range from 28 to 32 this morning. Peak winds were in the 25-30mph range this morning.

24-hour precip…  Snow reports vary considerably with most being between 4” and 16”.  Wolf Creek reported 25” in the last 24 hours and 31” in the last 3 days!

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports range from 5” south of town to 14.6” just north of Turkey Springs.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snow reports range from 5” south of town to 14.6” just north of Turkey Springs.
It looks nasty up on Wolf Creek Pass this morning.  A HUGE thanks to our road crews!
It looks nasty up on Wolf Creek Pass this morning.  A HUGE thanks to our road crews!
Downtown Pagosa Springs this morning. Web cam is courtesy of Jim Smith Realty, a Pagosa Weather sponsor.
Downtown Pagosa Springs this morning. Web cam is courtesy of Jim Smith Realty, a Pagosa Weather sponsor.

Forecast discussion…

The upper level trough will move through before noon ending the snowshowers in the valley but they’ll linger in the mountains into the afternoon.

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

Tuesday and Wednesday another low pressure system will move through.  The strength of the warm air advection is making the snow forecast tricky.  Plus a very strong jet stream could result in nasty winds.

Water vapor satellite this morning:  The upper level trough will move through before noon and the clouds will start clearing out.
Water vapor satellite this morning:  The upper level trough will move through before noon and the clouds will start clearing out.
Radar this morning: The last few bands of showers are moving through.  As usual radar isn’t picking up on everything.  As of 8:15am it’s still snowing in Durango and Cortez and it’s moving this way.
Radar this morning: The last few bands of showers are moving through.  As usual radar isn’t picking up on everything.  As of 8:15am it’s still snowing in Durango and Cortez and it’s moving this way.

My forecast…

The rest of today… The heaviest steady snow has ended. Scattered snow showers will taper off in the valley by noon and will linger into the afternoon over the mountains. Visibility will be poor for brief periods with snow and blowing snow. Clouds will gradually clear leading to a clear and cold night.

Highs today will be in the upper 20s to mid-30s. Low temps tomorrow morning will be -10 to 5. Winds will peak in the 30-35mph range in the valley and in the 50-55mph range in the high country.

*** There is a Winter Weather Warning for the southwest San Juan Mountains valid until 6pm today. ***

*** There is a WINTER WEATHER ADVIOSRY for the San Juan River Basin, which includes Pagosa Springs, valid until 10am this morning. ***

*** The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an AVALANCHE WARNING for our mountains. Very dangerous avalanche conditions are expected until midnight tonight. ***

Additional snow amounts…

Valley: up to 1”

Mountains: 3-6”

The NWS 72-hour snowfall shows  and inch in town and 3-6" in the mountains.
The NWS 72-hour snowfall shows and inch in town and 3-6″ in the mountains.

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.  This system will start on the warm side with the dreaded “r” word up to 8,500ft.  Then the snow level will lower to 7,000ft Tuesday night.  This will make snow amounts tricky to forecast. 

I’m also keeping a close eye on winds. I see potential for damaging winds, but I want to see more data before I sound the alarm.

My forecast snow amounts…

Valley: 2-6”

Mountains above 9,000ft: 10-20”

I’ll tweak the timing, snow amounts, and winds as the data gets better.

The GFS 24-hour snowfall for Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening shows 2-6” over the valley and 17” at Wolf Creek.
The GFS 24-hour snowfall for Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening shows 2-6” over the valley and 17” at Wolf Creek.
The Euro 24-hour snowfall for Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening shows 2-6” over the valley and 10” at Wolf Creek
The Euro 24-hour snowfall for Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening shows 2-6” over the valley and 10” at Wolf Creek
This is the Euro model forecast wind gusts on Wednesday at 5am. It shows potential for winds over 60mph across all of Archuleta County. Other models are also showing potential for strong winds. It’s too early to trust this but I am keeping a close eye on it.
This is the Euro model forecast wind gusts on Wednesday at 5am. It shows potential for winds over 60mph across all of Archuleta County. Other models are also showing potential for strong winds. It’s too early to trust this but I am keeping a close eye on it.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4061 / 19817-26 / 1951

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

My next update will be tomorrow morning.

– Shawn

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Picture of Shawn Pro

Shawn Pro

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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