Snow on Wednesday!

First morning sun on Graham Peak… Pic taken 2/13/2022

First morning sun on Graham Peak… Pic taken 2/13/2022

Sunday – 13 Feb 2022 – 9:10am

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp yesterday afternoon was 40 and the low this morning was 11.  I saw temps as low as -1 in the area.  The peak wind at the airfield was 8mph.

Precip in the last 24 hours…  None

Forecast discussion…

High pressure will give us dry weather through Tuesday.

A low pressure system will move through Wednesday and Thursday morning and bring us some snow – yay!

High pressure will dry us out Friday through Sunday and then another system is possible Monday and Tuesday.  It’s great to see a more active pattern!

Infrared satellite this morning: Most of the western US is clear.  The low, currently way up over the Gulf of Alaska, is expected to move into the Four Corners area Wednesday.
Infrared satellite this morning: Most of the western US is clear.  The low, currently way up over the Gulf of Alaska, is expected to move into the Four Corners area Wednesday.

My forecast…

Today through Tuesday… Expect lots of blue sky with occasional patches of mid and high level clouds, especially Tuesday.  Winds Tuesday afternoon will peak in the 20-25mph range. Highs will be in the mid-40s to around 50 and lows will be 5 to 20.

Weather geek alert!... 

GFS 500mb vorticity at 11am today: 500mb is at roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern.  Vorticity is the spinning of air.  Air spinning counter-clockwise, or cyclonically, indicates upward vertical motion. Yellow, orange, and red indicate positive vorticity advection which often leads to clouds and precip. 

The big ridge along the west coast, indicated by the crooked blue line, is finally weakening.  The low over the Gulf of Alaska will move into the Four Corners area on Wednesday.  Note the bullseye of positive vorticity advection associated with the low.
Weather geek alert!…

GFS 500mb vorticity at 11am today: 500mb is at roughly 18,000ft and is a good level to track the overall pattern.  Vorticity is the spinning of air.  Air spinning counter-clockwise, or cyclonically, indicates upward vertical motion. Yellow, orange, and red indicate positive vorticity advection which often leads to clouds and precip.

The big ridge along the west coast, indicated by the crooked blue line, is finally weakening.  The low over the Gulf of Alaska will move into the Four Corners area on Wednesday.  Note the bullseye of positive vorticity advection associated with the low.

Tuesday night through Thursday morning… Scattered snowshowers will start in the mountains late Tuesday evening and in the valley around sunrise on Wednesday. The best chance for snow is sunrise Wednesday to midnight. Scattered snowshowers will linger through Thursday morning, especially over the mountains.

Highs will be in the mid to upper 30s and lows will be 10 to 20.

Snowfall amounts…

– Valley: 1-3”

– Mountains: 4-8”

GFS 500mb vorticity at 8am Wednesday: Now the vorticity bullseye is near the Four Corners.  The upward vertical motion caused by the trough and also helped by orographic lift over our mountains, will bring us clouds and precip IF we have sufficient moisture.
GFS 500mb vorticity at 8am Wednesday: Now the vorticity bullseye is near the Four Corners.  The upward vertical motion caused by the trough and also helped by orographic lift over our mountains, will bring us clouds and precip IF we have sufficient moisture.
GFS 500mb winds and moisture at 8 am Wednesday: We do have moisture! And we have southwest flow trying to lift that moisture over our mountains.  So the ingredients are in place for precip. We look at these products a couple of times each day for multiple models.
GFS 500mb winds and moisture at 8 am Wednesday: We do have moisture! And we have southwest flow trying to lift that moisture over our mountains.  So the ingredients are in place for precip. We look at these products a couple of times each day for multiple models.
NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11am: The National Blended Model “blends” data from many models.  I like it because it tends to average the data and smooth out significant differences.  In this case it expects 3” in town and 3-6” in our mountains. There is still a lot of variance between models with some saying an inch and others saying up to 5”. By this evening we’ll be getting into the high resolution model time periods and the data will be better.
NBM snowfall to Thursday at 11am: The National Blended Model “blends” data from many models.  I like it because it tends to average the data and smooth out significant differences.  In this case it expects 3” in town and 3-6” in our mountains. There is still a lot of variance between models with some saying an inch and others saying up to 5”. By this evening we’ll be getting into the high resolution model time periods and the data will be better.

Thursday afternoon through Sunday… Clouds will gradually decrease Thursday and then we’ll see mostly clear skies.  Highs on Thursday will be in the 30s and lows that night will be -5 to 15. Highs the rest of this period will be in the lower to upper 40s and lows will be in the 5 to 20 range.

Monday and Tuesday… Another round of snow? It’s too early to focus on details, but it looks promising.

GFS 500mb vorticity at 8am on Monday: The low is over the Great Basin and positive vorticity advection ahead of it, indicated by orange and red, is moving into our area. This system looks similar to the first one.  However, this far out, we don’t trust the details and just track the general trends.
GFS 500mb vorticity at 8am on Monday: The low is over the Great Basin and positive vorticity advection ahead of it, indicated by orange and red, is moving into our area. This system looks similar to the first one.  However, this far out, we don’t trust the details and just track the general trends.
NBM snowfall through Wednesday at 5am indicates 7.7” in town and 12-16” in our mountains.  Note: This includes all snowfall to this point.  Again, this far out we’re just tracking the general trends, not the specifics.  I’ll nail down specifics when we get into the 4-6 day window.
NBM snowfall through Wednesday at 5am indicates 7.7” in town and 12-16” in our mountains.  Note: This includes all snowfall to this point.  Again, this far out we’re just tracking the general trends, not the specifics.  I’ll nail down specifics when we get into the 4-6 day window.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4258 / 19477-29 / 1940

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

My next post will be tomorrow afternoon.

– 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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