Snow for Christmas and next week as well…

Winter is coming...

Winter is coming…literally, tomorrow!

12-20-21: 1:30 pm update…

At Stevens Field the high so far today has been 37 degrees as of this post time. The low this morning was 5 degrees. There has been zero precipitation over the past 24 hours.

Before we dig into today’s forecast, a few disclaimers and thoughts for any of you who will be traveling to Pagosa Springs this week via plane, vehicle, walking, biking etc. First of all, we are flattered that you read our forecasts and follow our page, but please remember that when it comes to making travel decisions, we can’t help you due to many reasons, including legal ones. Fortunately, we have travel resources on our website found on the WebCams page to keep you up to date on road conditions and closures, current weather as viewed on cams and flight information from the Durango airport. Remember that the Durango airport gets less snow than Pagosa Springs so even if conditions are bad here, they may not be as bad at the airport. We also can’t issue Winter Storm Warnings or Winter Weather Advisories…that is the responsibility of the NWS. Even if we think there will be the potential for a blizzard in 48 hours, we have to wait until the NWS actually issues a watch or warning before we can post such a warning on our site.

No major changes in our storm setup, so some of what you will be reading below will seem a little like Déjà vu. As of this afternoon, the latest model runs are getting wetter and it is looking more likely that there may be more snow falling on Christmas Day than earlier thought and it will continue past Christmas.

High pressure continues to rule our weather through Wednesday with high temperatures gradually warming to above freezing to the low 40’s for the next few days under mostly clear skies.

On 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 and into the evening before a cold front arrives on Friday morning, lowering our snow levels to below 6000 feet but also creating some wind gusts approaching or exceeding 50 mph. On Friday it will be “all snow” as temperatures stay in the low to mid 30’s. Snow will continue to fall through Christmas Day and into next week. Originally it had looked like there would be a break on Christmas, but as of this post, that does not appear to be the case.

Screenshot 2021 12 20 124727
A plethora of Pacific moisture will start steaming into our mid-levels of our atmosphere as a deep trough digs into southern California and our upper-level winds switch into the SW.
ecmwf deterministic colorado total snow 10to1 1640001600 1640174400 1640563200 10
Here is the latest animated EURO model snow forecast run through Sunday. This is only one of several models we use for our forecasts.
Screenshot 2021 12 20 125537
Here is the latest GFS model run for snow totals through Sunday. We look at many models for our forecasts but two of the main models are currently forecasting a lot of snow from Thursday-Sunday.
Screenshot 2021 12 20 130446
The latest GFS model run is forecasting wind gusts approaching or exceeding 50mph on Friday morning as a cold front moves through…that coupled with snow could create some major travel headaches.

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 low 40’s. Winds will out of the south 5-10 mph.

Tuesday-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.

Thursday morning-Sunday: A chance for snow starting on Thursday morning, 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 as a cold front moves through. Snow showers will continue through at least Sunday. Highs Friday-Sunday will be in the low to mid 30’s. Lows will be in the teens.

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: 1-3 inches for Pagosa Springs, 2-4 inches for 8000 feet and 4-8 inches for the mountains.

Sunday of next week:  1-3 inches for Pagosa Springs, 2-4 inches for 8000 feet and 4-8 inches for the mountains.

-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
3956/ 19414-23/ 1908

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