Another round of snow tonight, a lull tomorrow, and then the final round…

Piedra Road through Turkey Springs... Pic taken 12/28/2021

Piedra Road through Turkey Springs… Pic taken 12/28/2021

Tuesday – 28 Dec 2021 – 4:10pm

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp in the last 24 hours was 31 and the low was 24. The peak wind at the airfield was 32mph.  The windy spots peaked around 35mph.

Wolf Creek Pass was closed much of last night due to strong winds and poor visibility.  More closures are possible between tonight and New Years morning.  Keep an eye on COtrip for the latest travel conditions: COtrip web page

It’s been snowing steadily up at Wolf Creek all day.  The Pass is snowpacked and visibility is poor.
It’s been snowing steadily up at Wolf Creek all day.  The Pass is snowpacked and visibility is poor.

Precip in the last 24 hours… Snowfall reports varied from 2-6” in the valley – thanks a bunch for your reports! Wolf Creek reported 18” of new snow this morning and then another 7” at 2:38pm.

CoCoRaHS snowfall 24hr snowfall totals vary from 1.6” to 4.3” with the average being in the 3”-4” range.
CoCoRaHS 24hr snowfall totals vary from 1.6” to 4.3” with the average being in the 3”-4” range.

Forecast discussion…

Another trough will move through tomorrow morning and then the final hoorah will push through Wednesday night through New Year’s morning.  Then we get a few days to dig out starting the 2nd of January.

Water vapor satellite this afternoon: There is a bunch of low and mid-level moisture over the Four Corners region. Between cold air advection and orographics, Mother Nature’s snow machine is turned on. The trough moving through southern CA and NV will move through our area tomorrow morning and give us another round of snow tonight.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon: There is a bunch of low and mid-level moisture over the Four Corners region. Between cold air advection and orographics, Mother Nature’s snow machine is turned on. The trough moving through southern CA and NV will move through our area tomorrow morning and give us another round of snow tonight.
Radar this afternoon: There are scattered showers all across the southwest US. Many of these showers are terrain-induced. As always, the Four Corners radar donut hole is not showing everything in our area.
Radar this afternoon: There are scattered showers all across the southwest US. Many of these showers are terrain-induced. As always, the Four Corners radar donut hole is not showing everything in our area.

My forecast…

Rest of today to tomorrow morning… Snow will increase through the evening and fall much of the night.  Snow will taper off into spotty snowshowers after sunrise.

Lows will be in the mid-teens to low 20s. Thankfully the winds won’t be as strong!  Winds will peak around 20mph in the valley and around 40mph in the mountains.

Snowfall during this period…

– Valley: 3-7”

– Mountains: 12-18”

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for the San Juan River Basin which includes Pagosa Springs. It’s for an additional 3-6” of snow with locally higher amounts in the foothills.  It’s valid until 8am Wednesday morning. ***

*** The Pueblo NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the eastern San Juan Mountains above 10,000ft valid until 11am on Wednesday.  It’s for an additional 6-12” of snow with locally higher amounts and winds gusting to 50mph. ***  I think Wolf Creek has a good chance to exceed 12” between now and 11am Wednesday.

*** The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an AVALANCHE WARNING valid until tomorrow morning at 7am. *** Avalanche conditions will remain very dangerous through New Year’s.

NWS snowfall valid from 6am this morning to 6pm tomorrow shows 6-8” in town and up to 18” near Wolf Creek.
NWS snowfall valid from 6am this morning to 6pm tomorrow shows 6-8” in town and up to 18” near Wolf Creek.

Wednesday afternoon… We’ll get a little break with scattered snowshowers. Highs will be in the mid-20s to lower 30s and lows will be 10 to 20. Winds will peak less than 20mph.

Snowfall during this period…

– Valley: 1-2” and it will be spotty

– Mountains: 2-4”

Wednesday night through New Year’s morning… The final system will move through and give us another good round of snow. The heaviest snow will fall Thursday night and Friday. Snow should end by noon on New Year’s.

Snowfall during this period…

– Valley: 10-18”

– Mountains: 20-30”

*** The Grand Junction NWS has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH for the southwest San Juan Mountains valid Wednesday evening through late Friday night. It’s for 12-24” of snow with localized amounts up to 3ft and winds to 40mph. *** I think winds to 50mph are more likely.

NBM snowfall through 1 Jan at 11am shows 22.2” for Pagosa Springs and around 50” near Wolf Creek.  Note that this includes all snowfall to this point.
NBM snowfall through 1 Jan at 11am shows 22.2” for Pagosa Springs and around 50” near Wolf Creek.  Note that this includes all snowfall to this point.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
3760 / 19802-27 / 1911

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

On the 1st, I will include a storm cycle summary in my daily post. I will also do a separate post to summarize December and provide an outlook for January.

My next post 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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