Dry through Sunday and then more snow…

Boot Jack Ranch, formerly known as At Last Ranch, always looks great with fresh snow… Pic taken 2/17/2022

Boot Jack Ranch, formerly known as At Last Ranch, always looks great with fresh snow… Pic taken 2/17/2022

Thursday – 17 Feb 2022 – 8:00pm

It was our pleasure to do weather presentation for the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue team! We have a lot of respect for these folks who do such an important mission.
It was our pleasure to do a weather presentation for the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue team! We have a lot of respect for these folks who do such an important mission.

The past…

At Stevens Field the high temp this afternoon was 35 and the low this morning was 25.  The peak wind at the airfield was 21mph.

Precip in the last 24 hours…  We got a whole bunch of snow reports and pictures – thanks! Reports varied considerably from 1” to 8”.  Arboles, Ignacio, Aspen Springs, South Fork, highway 160 near the Piedra River bridge, upper and lower Blanco, and south along highway 84 from Echo Canyon Reservoir to the Chromo area all reported 4-8” – much more than I expected! Areas near town and Pagosa Lakes were more in line with my forecast.  Wolf Creek ended up with 6”.

CoCoRaHS 24hr snowfall reports across Archuleta County this morning varied from 1.5” to 7”.
CoCoRaHS 24hr snowfall reports across Archuleta County this morning varied from 1.5” to 7”.

Forecast discussion…

High pressure will keep us dry Friday through Sunday.

Monday afternoon through Thursday morning a low pressure system is expected to slowly move through the Great Basin.  Things are lined up nicely for us to get a good round of snow: southwest flow causing orographic lift over our mountains, moisture, and storm energy. 

Water vapor satellite this afternoon: Weak spotty snowshowers are hanging on this afternoon over the mountains but they’ll clear out this as drier northwest flow takes over.  The low currently off the WA coast won’t impact us but it will help carve out a rough path for the next system.
Water vapor satellite this afternoon: Weak spotty snowshowers are hanging on this afternoon over the mountains but they’ll clear out this as drier northwest flow takes over.  The low currently off the WA coast won’t impact us but it will help carve out a rough path for the next system.

My forecast…

Tonight through Sunday… Clouds will gradually clear tonight and then we’ll see mostly clear skies Friday and Saturday. Sunday clouds will start increasing again and winds will pick up in the afternoon.  Patchy early morning fog is possible in low-lying areas.

Lows tonight will be -5 to 15 and highs tomorrow will be in the upper 30s to mid-40s. 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 afternoon through Thursday morning… We’ll see more clouds and snow. Highs will be in the upper 20s to mid-30s and lows will be in the mid-teens to mid-20s.

My snowfall forecast…

Valley: 6-12”

Mountains: 24-36”

NBM snowfall through Thursday at 11am indicates 10.7” in town and 15-20” in our mountains. However, look at the next chart…
NBM snowfall through Thursday at 11am indicates 10.7” in town and 15-20” in our mountains. However, look at the next chart…
NBM liquid equivalent through Thursday at 11am indicates 1.05” in town and up to 1.86” in our mountains.  In the valley some of the snow will fall with temps around freezing for a 10/1 ratio snow and some snow will fall with slightly lower temps resulting in periods of 15/1 ratio snow. Right now I think that 10.7” is in the ballpark for town.  The mountains are another story.  Temps at mountain-top level will be in the upper single digits to mid-teens – ideal for light, powdery snow that accumulates efficiently.  So I expect snow in the mountains to be closer to a 20/1 ratio.  1.86” X 20 = 37.2”.
NBM liquid equivalent through Thursday at 11am indicates 1.05” in town and up to 1.86” in our mountains.  In the valley some of the snow will fall with temps around freezing for a 10/1 ratio snow and some snow will fall with slightly lower temps resulting in periods of 15/1 ratio snow. Right now I think that 10.7” is in the ballpark for town.  The mountains are another story.  Temps at mountain-top level will be in the upper single digits to mid-teens – ideal for light, powdery snow that accumulates efficiently.  So I expect snow in the mountains to be closer to a 20/1 ratio.  1.88” X 20 = 37.6”. 

As always, I’ll tweak the amounts and timing as the storm gets closer and the data gets better.

Pagosa Springs historical data

Average HighRecord High / YearAverage LowRecord Low / Year
4267 / 19438-30 / 1910

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

Unless a big change pops up, I’m taking tomorrow off so my next post will be on Saturday.  Then I’ll do daily posts through the next storm.

– 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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