The next system will move through late Tuesday through Wednesday…

Snow fell heavily at times between 3:30pm and 5:30pm yesterday, especially north of highway 160!... Pic taken 1/27/2022

Snow fell heavily at times between 3:30pm and 5:30pm yesterday, especially north of highway 160!… Pic taken 1/27/2022

Friday – 28 Jan 2022 – 11:25am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp in the last 24 hours was 32 and the low this morning was -1. I saw temps as low as -16.The peak wind at the airfield was 16mph.

Weather Underground temps at 7am range from -10 to 15.  Most locations are in the -5 to 10 range.  I saw temps as low -16...brrrr
Weather Underground temps at 7am range from -10 to 15.  Most locations are in the -5 to 10 range.  I saw temps as low -16…brrrr

Precip in the last 24 hours…  CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports were in the 1.1” to 3.4” range along and north of highway 160, and trace to 1” south of highway 160, except for the 1.6” in the Mill Creek Valley, which makes sense because it’s east highway 84.  Wolf Creek reported 2” – an “equal opportunity storm”.

CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports were in the 1.1” to 3.4” range along and north of highway 160, and trace to 1” south of highway 160, except for the 1.6” in the Mill Creek Valley, which makes sense because it’s east highway 84.
CoCoRaHS 24-hour snowfall reports were in the 1.1” to 3.4” range along and north of highway 160, and trace to 1” south of highway 160, except for the 1.6” in the Mill Creek Valley, which makes sense because it’s east highway 84.
Wolf Creek Pass was plowed but is snowpacked this morning
Wolf Creek Pass was plowed but is snowpacked this morning

Forecast discussion…

I forecasted up to a half inch of snow – what happened?  It’s rare for us to get decent precip from the north, but in this case upper level dynamics were strong enough to overcome lower level orographics.  We were at the western edge of the snow band, and it fell apart as it moved north to south through the county. Plus temps from the surface up to the lower parts of the clouds were cold (Wolf Creek summit temps ranged from 5 to 9).  This is ideal for light, fluffy snow that accumulates easily – snow ratios averaged 15/1 in the valley and was near 30/1 up at Wolf Creek.

On a positive note, my forecast timing, snow amounts south of highway 160, and 1-3” forecast for the mountains verified nicely.

This is the infrared satellite loop from 4-5pm yesterday. We’re on the western edge of the heavy snow band, but it was weakening as it moved south through the county.
This is the infrared satellite loop from 4-5pm yesterday. We’re on the western edge of the heavy snow band, but it was weakening as it moved south through the county.
This is how radar and the Jim Smith Realty cam looked around 4:30pm.  This is a classic example of our poor radar coverage – what I call the Four Corners donut hole. At this time it was snowing heavily along and north of much of highway 160, yet our radar had nothing.
This is how radar and the Jim Smith Realty cam looked around 4:30pm.  This is a classic example of our poor radar coverage – what I call the Four Corners donut hole. At this time it was snowing heavily along and north of much of highway 160, yet our radar had nothing.

Ridging over much of the western US will keep us dry through Monday.

The next system will move through later Tuesday into Wednesday. Initially this system was expected to have more of a southwest trajectory, now it’s looking like it will be northwest – not a good a trend. Unfortunately the models are also trending downward with moisture and precip.

GeoColor satellite this morning: There’s nothing left of yesterday’s system.  As it moved south through the region, it fell apart. Satellite is clear in our area though there are low clouds (blue) trapped in the valleys to the north and south. The big ridge across the western US will keep us dry though Monday. The low off the coast will stay to our south and will not impact us.
GeoColor satellite this morning: There’s nothing left of yesterday’s system.  As it moved south through the region, it fell apart. Satellite is clear in our area though there are low clouds (blue) trapped in the valleys to the north and south. The big ridge across the western US will keep us dry though Monday. The low off the coast will stay to our south and will not impact us.

My forecast…

Today through Monday… Expect lots of blue sky with occasional patches of mid and high level clouds.  Patchy early morning fog is possible in the low-lying areas. Today highs will be in the lower 30s to around 40 and lows will be -5 to 15. The rest of the period highs will be in the lower to mid-40s and lows will be 0 to 20.

Tuesday and Wednesday… Clouds will increase through the day on Tuesday. Scattered snowshowers will start in the afternoon over the mountains and over the valley in the evening.  The best chance for snow is late Tuesday evening to early Wednesday afternoon. Scattered snowshowers will linger over the mountains into Wednesday night. Highs will be in the lower to upper 30s and lows will be 10 to 25.

Snowfall amounts…

– Valley: 1-3”

– Mountains: 3-6”

NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11am shows 2.3” in town and 3-6” in our mountains.  Unfortunately the models are trending downward with snow amounts.
NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11am shows 2.3” in town and 3-6” in our mountains.  Unfortunately the models are trending downward with snow amounts.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4055 / 19864-23 / 1917

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

Unless something pops up or changes, Mark will do the next post on Sunday.

– 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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