99.9% chance of a White Christmas!

White Christmas

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…”

12-19-21: 3:15 pm update…

White Christmas [(h)wīt ˈkrisməs] NOUN A Christmas during which there is snow on the ground.

Using this definition, I can 99.9% guarantee that we will have a White Christmas! Even if all of the models go poof, our daytime highs and low angle of the sun will insure there will be snow on the ground on Christmas. I am leaving 0.01 percent chance open for rare events like: a volcanic eruption in the hot springs, an un-forecast Chinook wind event, a sudden change in the earth’s tilt or an asteroid strike.

At Stevens Field the high so far today has been 35 degrees as of this post time. The low this morning was 4 degrees. There has been zero precipitation over the past 24 hours.

Now let’s look at the odds of getting fresh snow this week…

In the short term, high pressure will rule our weather with high temperatures gradually warming to above freezing to the low 40’s for the next few days under mostly clear skies. Today through Wednesday would be a great time to take care of any snow shoveling you still need to do, snowshoeing, skiing, etc.

By Wednesday night, our Christmas storm will start impacting our weather as a deep trough digs into southern California and our upper-level winds switch into the SW, bringing in an atmospheric river of moisture into area from the Pacific. Snow levels will be on the rise, so there is a chance for some wet snow mixed with light rain during the day on Thursday. Snow odds ramp up during the day on Thursday through Saturday, with the best chance for snow Thursday night through Friday. Unfortunately, we could also see another high wind event on Friday morning…keep checking out our updates this week as we keep looking at more model runs.

Screenshot 2021 12 19 140712
By Wednesday night, our Christmas storm will start impacting our weather as a deep trough digs into southern California and our upper-level winds switch into the SW, bringing in an atmospheric river of moisture into area from the Pacific.
Screenshot 2021 12 19 141628
The latest EURO model run is forecasting almost a foot of snow for Pagosa Springs by Saturday afternoon. It’s still too early to pinpoint our exact totals so please keep checking our updates this week.
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The latest Euro model run is forecasting wind gusts over 50mph on Friday morning…that coupled with snow could create some major travel headaches. Stay tuned…this could change over the next few days.

My forecast…

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

The rest of today: Sunny with highs in the mid to upper 30’s. Winds will out of the south 5-10 mph.

Monday-Wednesday: Mostly sunny with lows in the single digits and teens and highs in low to mid 40’s. Winds will generally be out of the SW 5-10 mph.

Wednesday evening-Saturday: A chance for snow starting on Wednesday night, then a mix of snow and rain during the day on Thursday for Pagosa Springs, but all snow for elevations over 8000 feet. Lows will be in the teens on Thursday morning with highs near 40. Thursday night will start out with a snow/rain mix, (except for 8000 feet and above), then go to all snow after midnight. Winds could gust to over 50mph on Friday morning along with periods of heavy snow. Snow showers should continue through Christmas morning, with a break on Christmas Day along with some sunshine. Highs on Friday will be in the upper 30’s and approaching 40 by Christmas Day. Lows will be in the teens to low 20’s.

Snow totals:

Thursday: 1-2 inches for Pagosa Springs, 2-4 inches for 8000 feet and 4-8 inches for the mountains.

Friday: 4-8 inches for Pagosa Springs, 6-10 inches for 8000 feet and 10-20 inches for the mountains

Christmas Day: 0-1 inch for Pagosa Springs, 1-2 inches for 8000 feet and 2-4 inches for the mountains

Sunday-Monday of next week: We could see another round of snow moving in on Sunday…stay tuned!

-Mark Langford

Check out my Pagosa Peak Cam (myearthcam.com) for watching hikers, bikers and of course, the weather.

Pagosa Springs historical data for November 8th.

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3957/ 19884-35/ 1909

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Mark Langford

Mark Langford

I consider myself a "weather journalist" who has been studying and following meteorology since taking an earth science class in eighth grade. Later, when I became a professional commercial photographer, I learned that my continued studies in meteorology helped me plan outdoor photo assignments. I'm now a semi-retired photographer who teaches photo workshops, goes storm chasing and of course enjoys photographing great landscapes and clouds in our area. My fine art photography can be seen here: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-mark-langford
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